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Senators Participate In Cyberattack Simulation

Exercise illustrated the consequences of a massive cyberattack at a critical time in a major U.S. city
U.S. senators Wednesday participated in a multi-agency exercise to simulate how the government might respond in the event of a cyber attack that cripples New York City’s electric supply during a summer heat wave.

The demonstration was part of an effort by lawmakers to encourage bi-partisan cooperation on cybersecurity to underscore how important it is for the feds to align on the issue.

In addition to members of the Senate, top cybersecurity officials from various departments and agencies--including the White House, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), FBI, and National Security Agency--also participated in the event, which illustrated the consequences of a massive cyber attack at a critical time in a major U.S. city. Officials were keeping exact details of what happened at the exercise confidential.

The senior administration officials involved--including DHS secretary Janet Napolitano, White House cybersecurity coordinator Howard Schmidt, and FBI director Robert Mueller--used the exercise to stress the need for legislation to more effectively prevent and respond to potential cyber attacks in the United States, said DHS press secretary Matt Chandler. Laws that officials want Congress to pass include risk-based performance standards for critical infrastructure systems so they meet at least a baseline level of security.

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