The US is to be the target of a major cyber attack on Tuesday but don’t worry – it’s a perfectly planned scheme that’s all in the name of research.

The exercise, known as “Cyber Shockwave”, is designed to simulate a “real life” targeted attack on US information and intelligence systems, allowing experts to highlight any flaws or vulnerabilities in the current infrastructure in both government and business systems. The test will also examine the command and control capabilities of the US while under attack and how quickly countermeasures can be deployed and backup systems activated.

The attack is being run by the Bipartisan Policy Center’s National Security Preparedness Group and has the support of a number of major names, including PayPal, SMobile Systems and General Dynamics.

Ex-senior staffers, including Ex-DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff and Former CIA deputy director John McLaughlin, will take the role of government leaders in a mock-up of the White House Situation Room being built in Washington.

Unusually for such a drill, the entire event will be open to public scrutiny, with highlights being shown on the Government News Network and press access will be granted for the Situation Room itself.

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