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Cyber ShockWave: Simulation Report and Findings

On February 16, 2010, a bipartisan group of former senior administration and national security officials participated in a simulated cyber attack on the United States—Cyber ShockWave. The simulation, which was moderated by Wolf Blitzer and broadcast as a special on CNN, provided an unprecedented look at how the government would respond to a large-scale cyber crisis affecting much of the nation.

A project of the Bipartisan Policy Center—with support and guidance from General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, Georgetown University, PayPal, SMobile Systems, Southern Company, and Symantec—Cyber ShockWave had participants play the roles of cabinet members reacting in real-time to an unfolding cyber attack and advising the president on an appropriate response. Cyber ShockWave highlighted how critical an issue cybersecurity has become for our nation. While protecting sensitive and personal data remains a priority, the proliferation of computers across ever-greater spheres of our personal lives and their growing role in running our critical infrastructure means a serious cyber event could have a debilitating effect on this country.

This report summarizes the findings and recommendations from the simulation.

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