FEMA conducts simulated cyber attack exercise

US President Barack Obama and senior administration officials took part in a simulated cyber attack exercise sponsored by FEMA on Tuesday.

The exercise examined how the US government would respond to a massive cyber attack, resulting in physical damage to the nation’s critical infrastructure, all in an effort to practice decision-making that would follow such an attack, the Hill reports. The US conducted several similar exercises in the past, including a demonstration of response plans to a possible cyber attack on New York City’s electrical grid back in March.

The White House is pushing Congress to pass new cyber security legislation with the ultimate goal of propping up security standards for critical infrastructure, but the proposal has its detractors and house Republicans believe the added regulations will hurt businesses.  

In related news, The House of Representatives passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) in April, but Obama threatened to veto it, citing privacy concerns. He argued that CISPA would do nothing to protect infrastructure, while at the same time encouraging companies to hand over their customers’ personal information to the murky intelligence establishment.

The Obama administration recently appeared to have given the nod to an extensive article in the New York Times admitting responsibility for the Stuxnet worm, aimed at dismantling Iran’s nuclear enrichment programme. It was originally put together by Bush, but ‘sped up’ by the Obama administration.