China / World

Ministers test response in cyber war game

(China Daily) Updated: 2017-09-08 09:08

TALLINN, Estonia - European Union defense ministers were scheduled to hold a cyber war game for the first time on Thursday to test their ability to respond to a potential attack by computer hackers on one of the bloc's military missions abroad.

In a fictional scenario, the EU's naval mission in the Mediterranean will be sabotaged by hackers who cripple the mission's command on land and launch a campaign on social media to discredit the EU operations and provoke protests.

Each of the EU's defense ministers will try to contain the crisis over the course of the 90-minute, closed-door exercise in Tallinn that will also employ mock news videos.

"We want to show ministers the impact of cyber campaigns," said Tanel Sepp, deputy director for cyber planning at Estonia's Defense Ministry.

After a series of global cyber attacks disrupted multinational firms, ports and public services on an unprecedented scale this year, governments are seeking to stop hackers from shutting down more critical infrastructure or crippling corporate and government networks.

Given the growing threat, NATO last year recognized cyberspace as a domain of warfare and said it was serious enough to justify activating the alliance's collective defense clause. The EU has broadened its information-sharing between governments and is expected to present a new cyber defense plan.

EU cyber exercises are not new, but officials said the idea of the exercise was to put the onus on defense ministers to act by simulating a temporary loss of military operational command, even if they would have more support in a real-life situation.


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