The exercise is a scenario practicing a simulated attack on a banking network.
“Its important to learn about computer security and to see what could happen so quickly I think people don’t realize what computer security is about,” U.S. Pacific Command Christy Zeuner said.
“This is the future threat, cyber threats are very real and happening right around us,” Hawaii Army National Guard Chief Warrant Officer Chris Elmore said.
Experts from different agencies were broken up into teams, some defending the network while others were trying to hack into it.
“Because we’re actually engaging with real hackers we’re learning their playbook we’re actually learning how they operate their mo and we’re learning what kind of tools they use what kind of methods,” CWO Elmore said.
The defenders had to re-create the hacked website so customer service would be uninterrupted while they also dealt with the cyberattack.
“If an attack happens we have an early warning system we know that someone is actually in there and we have the necessary teams engaged to actually react immediately,” Hawaii Army National Guard senior information technology specialist Peter Aguinaldo said.
The exercise also gives experts in different agencies a chance to work together.
“Very likely in a real scenario that’s what will happen because at any given time you’ll have a team that’s thrown together with different specialties depending on the incident,” CWO Elmore said.
“If they practice defending against those threats here when they actually see it hopefully they’ll be able to stop it and thereby prevent the loss of their data,” University of Hawaii Professor of Information and Computer Sciences David Chin said.
“Its imperative that we take the leadership role to assist the community and assist the people of Hawaii for those kinds of threats,” CWO Elmore said.
The experts attending this weekend’s exercise hope more businesses will get involved next year.