Leaders to stage cybersecurity drill


A cybersecurity attack will hit the nation’s computer systems at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

That’s the scenario former senior administration officials will operate under Tuesday as they show how the government would respond to a potential cyber crisis.

More than a dozen officials will participate in the exercise Tuesday at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, D.C., where they will illustrate tactics and processes government officials may use during a major cyber attack. The event is open to the media, and the Federal Times will cover it.

The event is sponsored by the Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington-based policy think tank. The center says the drill will be realistic and show the pressures officials would face in the event of an attack.

The participants, whose mission is to advise the president and mount a response to the attack, will not know the scenario in advance. They will react to the threat in real time, as intelligence and news reports drive the simulation, shedding light on how the difficult split-second decisions must be made to respond to an unfolding and often unseen threat.”

Former senior administration officials participating include:

  • Former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff as National Security adviser;
  • Former Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte as secretary of State;
  • Former White House Homeland Security Advisor Fran Townsend as Homeland Security secretary;
  • Former Central Intelligence Director John McLaughlin as director of National Intelligence;
  • Former Sen. Bennett Johnston as energy secretary;
  • Former National Economic Council director Stephen Friedman as treasury secretary;
  • Former deputy attorney general Jamie Gorelick as attorney general;
  • Former White House press secretary Joe Lockhart as counselor to the president;
  • Former National Security Agency general counsel Stewart Baker as cyber coordinator;
  • Former deputy commander, U.S. European Command Charles F. Wald as Defense secretary.

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