European leaders hold major cybersecurity exercise

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European diplomats are engaged in a cybersecurity exercise. During this exercise, they act as if there is a real cyberattack on hospitals and electricity networks in several European countries.

The exercise is an initiative of Cyclone, an EU cooperation model to warn each other, validate intelligence and impose sanctions in the event of cyber-attacks that transcend national borders. France organized the exercise in view of “the increasing number and severity of cyberattacks on the EU and its member states”. That says spokesman for the European External Action Service (EEAS) Peter Stano.

The scenario

During the exercise, a fictional hacker group from ‘Blueland’ infiltrated a Finnish company that develops industrial software for the healthcare and energy sectors. Finland is said to have discovered this attack on January 8. Yet systems continue to be compromised, affecting more than 10 European member states by the hack.

In the scenario, European foreign ministers discuss which sanctions are applicable on 21 February. They also discuss what the action plan should be in the future.

The exercise also took into account the media and different political dimensions of a cyberwar. For example, the existing American cybersecurity company Palo Alto would be the first to attribute the hack to the Blueland group.

A memo reads: “Referring to a report by Palo Alto, the New York Times publishes a front-page article in which they also accuse Blueland of being responsible for the cyber-attack on Europe.”

Blueland would fight back with ‘fake news on social media. In addition, political groups would take advantage of the

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