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Europe attacks itself in cyber-warfare test

As OECD admits major security fail

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Security experts are launching fake cyber-attacks against various European institutions today to check the response of European cyber defence.

The simulated attack aims to cut or interfere with internet connections between European countries, forcing member states to cooperate in order to stop a complete network collapse.

The test is being run by the European Network Security Agency (ENISA) and the Joint Research Centre (JRC).

"Steelie" Neelie Kroes, vice president of the European Commission for the Digital Agenda, said: "This exercise to test Europe's preparedness against cyber threats is an important first step towards working together to combat potential online threats to essential infrastructure and ensuring citizens and businesses feel safe and secure online."

The full release for Cyber Europe 2010 is here.

Meanwhile back in the real world, it emerged today that the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), said it had been under sustained cyber attack for the last few months and is still battling to get its computers cleaned up.

OECD spokesman Stephen Di Biasio told EUobserver that the organisation had a team trying to close entry points, but wasn't able to definitely say that hackers were not still accessing its systems.

He said: "What we know is it's quite a sophisticated attack. We've got quite high levels of security protocols at the OECD and this has been able to bypass those security measures.

"What we are seeing is that it's not a destructive attack. It's obviously fishing for information."

The attack came to light thanks to Intelligence Online, based in Paris.

Di Biasio said it was believed the malware got into OECD systems via USB keys.

He said: "Our agents travel around the world. They often go to conferences - there are exchanges of information, exchanges of USB keys." Sounds to us like it's time to utilise the awesome security power of a little dab of Superglue in those annoying USB ports. ®

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