EU prepares for ‘dark scenario’ of cyber attacks that could devastate power and communication networks

October 14, 2016

Since April, more than 700 security experts have been battling a fictional cyber security crisis as part of the EU’s biggest defence exercise to date.

Featuring power cuts, drones and ransomware, the series of fictional attacks has targeted European digital networks.

The seven-month exercise culminates this week, and detailed lessons learned will be shared with participants in the hopes of improving defence systems.

Experts have warned that cyber attacks on any number of systems, including satellites and nuclear power station, could result in a global catastrophe.

Cyber Europe 2016 involved over 300 organisations from across 30 countries, with an aim ‘to safeguard the European Digital Single Market.’

A statement released by the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA), who organised the project, said: ‘Computer security attacks are increasingly used to perform industrial reconnaissance, lead disinformation campaigns, manipulate stock markets, leak sensitive information, tamper with customer data, sabotage critical infrastructures.’

Those involved included IT security companies, banks, energy companies and cyber-security agencies.

ENISA said that the exercise: ‘paints a very dark scenario inspired by events such as the blackout in an European Country over Christmas period and the dependence on technologies manufactured outside the jurisdiction of the European Union. ‘

The exercise involved several different threats against drones, cloud computing, mobile malware, and the Internet of Things.

Actors, fictional media, companies and social media were all also involved to make the scenarios as realistic as possible.

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