Yesterday, the Bipartisan Policy Center hosted a cybersecurity war game, called Cyber ShockWave, which showcased some of the challenges that policy makers would face in the event of a cyber attack. The event highlighted the need for greater international cooperation and understanding in the cyber realm.
Today in Brussels, 500 delegates from 25 countries are meeting at a conference organized by the EastWest Institute to discuss ways to enhance cybersecurity on a global scale. John Mroz, president and CEO of the EastWest Institute, said in an email to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review “Cyberspace today is like the Wild West.” Cyberspace “does not enjoy the international community’s setting of basic agreements, rules and procedures.”
The war game which took place yesterday in Washington highlighted the difficulties associated with coping with a major cyber attack.
General Michael Hayden, who helped develop the exercise, said “The attack shut down the Internet and cell phone service and caused brownouts in our electricity grids. It was clear we don’t have an adequate policy, expectation of privacy, public-private partnerships or understanding of international norms to deal with a massive cyber attack.”
The simulated attack also raised a series of questions regarding appropriate responses to cyber attack.
“We must begin to come to grips with the rules of the game, or something will happen,” Mroz said. “Could a country use its nuclear weapons in retaliation against another country from whence a crippling cyber attack took place? Believe it or not, this kind of scary discussion has already begun to take place.”