EU simulates cyber warfare

The European Union has launched a pan-European cyber warfare simulation designed to test the region’s defences.

The tests, dubbed Cyber Europe 2010, will see experts from EU Member States try to cope with a series of simulated attacks on key internet services, which could, if not defended against, cripple Europe’s online connectivity and bring about a total network crash.

The exercises require the different countries to work closely together to ward off wave after wave of attacks from hackers to prevent a blackout of all of Europe’s internet services.

All 27 EU Member States are participating in the tests, either actively or as observers. Some non-EU states, such as Iceland, Norway and Switzerland, are also participating. 

Various agencies from each country, including Communications Ministries, crisis management organisations, security authorities and intelligence organisations, are actively involved, making this one of the largest pan-European events in the Union’s history.

Today’s tests are orchestrated by the European Network Security Agency (ENISA), the Joint Research Centre (JRC), and the participating EU Member States. It is one element of the Digital Agenda for Europe, designed to prepare Europe for the growing threat of cyber warfare.

“This exercise to test Europe’s preparedness against cyber threats is an important first step towards working together to combat potential online threats to essential infrastructure and ensuring citizens and businesses feel safe and secure online,” said Neelie Kores, Vice President of the Europe Commission for the Digital Agenda. She is currently visiting the UK’s cyber attack centre for the simulation.

A further set of simulations of a global attack are to follow the European ones in time to come, with Europe leading the charge in preparing the world for cyber threats.