Feeds

Whitehall plans 'White Noise' phone network collapse

Unjoined-up government, coming next week

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

The government will simulate a shutdown of the national phone network next week in an exercise involving hundreds of government and industry players.

The exercise - codenamed "White Noise" - is designed to simulate a catastrophic nationwide communications failure, will take place over Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 November.

It will be the first time the UK has conducted such a large scale exercise, Geoff Smith, the head of communications security in the Department for Business, told a Lords committee today.

White Noise will simulate a total national collapse of the traditional Public Switched Telephone Network. There will be no impact on those not involved in the exercise.

Such a scenario could be caused by a cyber or physical attack, or a natural disaster.

Officials will monitor the government's ability to respond in a coordinated way, including keeping Parliament and the public informed.

"We will learn whether we can respond in real time," Smith said.

Data and mobile communications will remain intact throughout the exercise.

"We'd be reduced to carrier pigeons and semaphore if we didn't have some form of communications," Smith explained.

He added that anticipation of White Noise in Whitehall had already prompted "a lot of thought and action" over the resilience of government communications and said "a lot of money" has been spent on private sector help preparing for the exercise.

Analysis of the response to White Noise will add momentum to efforts across government to strengthen the UK's communications infrastructure, Smith claimed.

He was appearing before the House of Lords EU Sub-Committee on Home Affairs. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Super Cali signs a kill-switch, campaigners say it's atrocious
Remote-death button bad news for crooks, protesters – and great news for hackers?
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
Felony charges? Harsh! Alleged Anon hackers plead guilty to misdemeanours
US judge questions harsh sentence sought by prosecutors
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.