Coordinated Exercise Prepares For Threat Of Cyber-Attack

Coordinated Exercise Prepares For Threat Of Cyber-Attack

CREATED May 3, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Dozens of public agencies and private companies have joined forces to hold a communications exercise that prepares for the threat of a cyber-attack.

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency called the event an auxiliary communications exercise or AuxCom.

Many of teams from public agencies and private companies have come together this weekend near Bell Buckle at the Tennessee Fire and Codes Academy for training. They've been responding to a simulated cyber-attack against the United States.

“We've gotten spoiled because we can send and receive messages anywhere at any time, but there is a chance that if there is a cyber-attack that the infrastructure is going to go away,” said Sgt. William Jones.

In this simulation, either a terrorist or foreign country has taken down the Internet. A successful cyber-attack on the internet could shut down cash registers, ATMs, even gas pumps and communication systems.

In this case, Tennessee National Guard soldiers used Winlink over HAM radios to send and receive e-mails.

Officials said coordinating electronic messages in a world without the internet could make a big difference, while as other experts try to stop the attack and fix the damage.

The communications exercise was expected to last all weekend. TEMA officials said they conduct the exercises several times a year.