By Ben Bain
Feb 16, 2010
Imagine that a widely downloaded, malicious smart phone application has
triggered a national security crisis and brought the country's
telecommunications and electronic infrastructure to a standstill.
This scenario was only make-believe: the East Coast still has power and
Midwestern factories are functioning. But the threats from cyber
exploits against the national and economic security of the United States
is very real, according to former senior government officials who
participated in a simulation exercise today in Washington.
The former officials gathered in a mock White House situation room -
actually in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Southwest Washington - to
play the parts of Cabinet officials faced with quickly developing
national security and economic crises after a virtual nuisance quickly
becomes a real nightmare. The simulation, named Cyber ShockWave and held
by the Bipartisan Policy Center, was observed by reporters; CNN plans to
air the event.
For a few hours the former officials - led by former Homeland Security
secretary Michael Chertoff, playing the role of national security
adviser - talked through the crisis and discussed how to prepare a
sitting president for an immediate press conference on the matter.
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