GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Cyber computer attacks are a real danger. In Michigan, government websites are attacked over 10,000 times a day and a successful attack could mean identity theft or even a shutdown of the electrical grid in the worst case scenario.
The only way to detect and prevent such attacks is to prepare for them. How do you prepare--by having cyber war games.
The West Michigan Cyber Security Consortium held a cyber training exercise on July 24 at Grand Valley State University. The exercise consisted of two teams trying to attack and thwart cyber attacks on a mock computer network infrastructure. The event used the infrastructure and was organized by the Michigan Cyber Range and Merit Network.
Merit Network is a non profit corporation owned by Michigan's public universities that runs a research and education network.
The Blue Team from Grand Rapids had to try to defend cyber attacks on simulated information systems of a library, town hall, small company, and school. The Red Team in Ann Arbor acted as the aggressors trying to find weaknesses in the Blue Team's security. For example, the red team placed malware that infected the blue teams systems so they could access information and, in the case of the school, try to change the grades of the students.
The day proved successful according to Joe Adams, V.P. of Research and Cyber Security Merit Network, Inc. "It has been very successful, I think. We challenged the Blue Team and provided them with a lot of learning lessons," says Adams.
Those lessons are needed as the U.S. is constantly under attack from cyber threats and loses an estimated $18 billion in intellectual property and opportunity costs a year.
For more details, visit the Michigan Cyber Range web site at: www.merit.edu/cyberrange