European Commission (EC) security teams have begun attacking governments, banks and telecoms companies, as part of a major cyber war games initiative.
The attacks are part of the EC's Cyber Europe 2012 event, run in partnership with 400 experts from major financial institutions, telecoms companies, internet service providers and local and national governments.
The war games have seen the EC target the institutions and companies with 1,200 separate cyber incidents, including more than 30,000 malicious emails and a simulated ongoing distributed denial of service (DDoS) campaign.
EC vice president Neelie Kroes claimed that the simulation will help the region bolster its defences against real life cyber attacks.
"This is the first time banks and internet companies have been part of an EU-wide cyber-attack exercise," said Kroes.
"This co-operation is essential given the growing scale and sophistication of cyber-attacks. Working together at European level to keep the internet and other essential infrastructures running is what today's exercise is all about."
The EC also reported that it had detected a 36 percent increase in the number of web-based attacks targeting industry and governments in 2011.
The news follows widespread warnings that the number of cyber threats facing the financial industry is increasing.
The US Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) upgraded its Cyber Threat Advisory status from Elevated to High in September, following unexplained outages on the Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase's websites.
This still didn't stop US bank Wells Fargo being hit by an attack just a few days laters, while the White House also reported an attack on its networks earlier this week.
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