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FEMA pushes cyber attack game for businesses

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"A network of hacktivists known as The Void today threatened to unleash ‘a global day of extreme action against US interests and organisations, both private and government-related'," read anchorwomen Jeanne Meserve.

Don't worry it's only a game. Well, a test. All part of a US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) cybersecurity preparedness exercise. It's from the first video made in a series for FEMA's yearly National Level Exercises.

Every year, FEMA makes a tabletop game which is suppose to prepare players for a variety of national crisis. Last year, it was three natural disasters hitting around the same time. This year the crisis is a cybersecurity scare from a make believe hacking group called The Void. FEMA lets players plan after hypothetical attacks and watch videos that display how the cyber attack went down.

We have included a run down of the cyber apocalypse for those who don't enjoy bad acting and cheesy sets. But for those with of love of hammy scenes, we heartily recommend checking out the videos.

It all begins with The Void having called for a day of global hacking tomfoolery.

A fake anchorwoman named Jeanne Meserve warns that The Void could be a global threat. She even talks to an incognito former hacker (and terrible actor) who points out that this impending cyber threat could mean danger for everybody from small business to the government. The former hacker jokes around a bit, but you can tell this is serious business.

We then catch up with the fake anchorwomen one month later. She reports that 'World Wide Global' is the target of The Void's attack. World Wide Global chief executive (and yet another terrible actor) Barton Ramsey comes on and explains what happened to his company.

Evidently, The Void attempted to transfer funds from a World Wide Global bank account. Luckily, Ramsey's got it under control and thwarted the attempt before any damage was done. Phew, that was close.

Things turn for the worst, however, when we catch up with anchorwomen Meserve a week later. We learn that the Void got some valuable information from World Wide Global and are trying to blackmail the company.

Now all seems rather doomed until we catch up with Ramsey a few days later. He tells our fake anchorwomen that it's all over. World Wide Global's site was hacked and The Void threw down the white flag. They say they're done but to watch out because they're always watching. We're led to believe its all a big joke to the hackers with the scary name.

So we guess its safe to assume all goes back to normal now right? Wrong, World Wide Global chief executive Ramsey resigns and stock in the company nosedives.

People don't trust World Wide Global after the attack. Looks like The Void did exactly what they wanted. They ruined a promising fake company by showing how unprepared they were for an imaginary cyber attack.

Then were told by a fake security expert (yep, he stunk as an actor too) what went wrong with World Wide Global and told about things we can do to prevent an attack on our company. The end.

In all seriousness, it's kind of exciting that FEMA spent the time to make a "how to cope with the cyber apocalypse" video. Viruses like Flame do exist, and people get their information compromised all the time. So even if cyber threats may be getting overblown, it's still nice to have a video reminder of how companies can better prepare themselves for cyber attack.

15 Jun 2012

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