June 18, 2011

Government Building ‘Model’ Of Internet For Cyber War Games

The U.S. government is building its own "scale model" of the Internet to help it carry out cyber war games.

Several organizations are working on prototypes of the "virtual firing range," including the defense company Lockheed Martin.

The system will allow researchers to simulate attacks by foreign powers and from hackers based inside the U.S.

Over $500 million has been allocated by the Department of Defense to develop "cyber technologies."

The Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is overseeing the National Cyber Range project.

The scale model will function as a test-bed for defensive and possibly offensive technologies like network protection systems.

DARPA spokesman Eric Mazzacone told Reuters that having a controllable mini-Internet would allow researchers to carry-out experiments "in days rather than the weeks it currently takes."

Mazzacone said the model could be wiped clean or reset between tests.

The U.S. has been gradually increasing funding for Internet security-related projects.

The U.S. military was the subject of a serious cyber attack in 2008 when part of its network became infracted by a worm known as agent.biz.

President Obama declared in May 2009 the cyber threat to be one of the "most serious" challenges facing the country.

He said that the government has been the subject of several attempted attacks, originating from overseas.

Lockheed Martin is one of the contractors involved in the National Cyber Range project and it succumbed to a security breach in May 2011.

The Pentagon said earlier this month that it planned to publish proposals to categorize cyber attacks as acts of war.


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