[ISN] Exercise Exposes Vulnerabilities

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Wed Jul 10 2002 - 05:21:57 PDT

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    JULY 08, 2002
    Understanding the threats posed by cyberattacks against the nation's
    critical telecommunications, energy and emergency infrastructures has
    given way to learning about how failures in one industry segment can
    affect other sectors.
    That was the conclusion of the Blue Cascades critical-infrastructure
    protection exercise that was held June 12 in Portland, Ore. A detailed
    action plan based on the results of Blue Cascades is scheduled to be
    completed this week.
    The exercise was the second such regional critical-infrastructure
    protection exercise sponsored by the Pacific Northwest Economic
    Region, a public/private partnership created by five U.S. states and
    three Canadian provinces. The first exercise, code-named Black Ice and
    held in Salt Lake City in November 2000, demonstrated how the effects
    of a major terrorist attack or natural disaster could be made
    significantly worse by a simultaneous cyberattack.
    "Blue Cascades and Black Ice centered on prolonged power outages that
    were accompanied by natural gas infrastructure and telecommunications
    failures stemming from unknown causes," said Paula Scalingi, former
    director of the U.S. Department of Energy's Critical Infrastructure
    Protection Office and now a private consultant. Scalingi, who took
    part in both exercises, said response and reconstitution of services
    was hampered by infrastructure interdependencies during both
    The Pacific Northwest's infrastructure systems are highly integrated
    with Canada's. For example, more than 80% of the region's natural gas
    supply flows south from Canada through pipelines that are dependent on
    IT-based control systems, prompting a need for what state and local
    officials characterized as a multiyear effort to develop "a
    disaster-resistant region."
    "Sept. 11 demonstrated that U.S. intelligence cannot provide the
    necessary alert and warning to prevent terrorists from striking," said
    Scalingi. Instead, it's up to regional officials to prepare "to deal
    with the unthinkable," she said.
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