Cyber security experts across Europe are taking part in the EU's biggest cyber security exercise.
More than 300 cyber security professionals are taking part in the European Commission's simulated cyber-attack, Cyber Europe 2012.
Co-ordinated by ENISA (European Network and Information Security Agency), the exercise builds on and ties together extensive activities at both the national and European level to improve the resilience of critical information infrastructures.
The scenario combines several technically realistic threats into one simultaneously escalating Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on online services in all participating countries.
This kind of scenario would disrupt services for millions of citizens across Europe.
The complexity of the scenario allows for the creation of enough cyber incidents to challenge the several hundred public and private sector participants from throughout Europe, while at the same time triggering cooperation.
By the end of the exercise, the participants will have had to handle more than 1,000 injects, or simulated cyber incidents.
“ENISA aims to support the cyber crisis community in improving the resilience of critical information infrastructures," said Professor Udo Helmbrecht, executive director of ENISA.
“That is why we facilitated the organisation of Cyber Europe 2012.”
ENISA said the exercise was a major milestone in the efforts to strengthen cyber crisis cooperation, preparedness and response across Europe.
Cyber Europe 2012 is the second pan-European distributed table-top exercise and is supported by the European Commission's in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre (JRC).
Its three objectives are:
- to test effectiveness and scalability of existing mechanisms, procedures and information flow for public authorities’ cooperation in Europe;
- to explore the cooperation between public and private stakeholders in Europe;
- and to identify gaps and challenges on how large scale cyber incidents could be handled more effectively in Europe.
Four countries are observing the exercise and 25 countries are actively participating, and this year the private sector including finance, ISPs and eGovernment, is taking part for the first time.