US Creating Fake Internet For Cyber Wargames

Brad Chacos

Hot on the heels of LulzSec and Anonymous joining their havoc-wreaking forces to bring Operation Anti-Security (#AntiSec) to an Internet near you – "we encourage any vessel, large or small, to open fire on any government or agency that crosses their path" – comes news that the US, at least, doesn't plan on taking the DDoS shots in stride. DARPA, the cutting edge defense agency that helped spark the creation of the Internet we know and love, is putting the finishing touches on a mock Internet called the National Cyber Range that US cyberwarriors will use as a training ground in future Web-based wars.

Lockheed Martin and John Hopkins University have both been developing a prototype Cyber Range for several years, Reuters reports . DARPA plans on choosing which system it likes best and putting it through the ropes throughout 2012. Hey DARPA! We'd pick John Hopkins – at least they haven't been the victim of any embarrassing National Security-related hacks recently . The final cost for whipping the whole thing together is a reported $130 million.

The National Cyber Range is actually designed to be a bunch of separate testbed modules that can be used independently for smaller tests or joined together for large-scale simulations. A key feature of the system is the ability to reboot the individual modules after completing a test, Reuters noted. In addition to training the nation's cyberwarriors using what we presume can only be a series of Matrix-like kung-fu simulations and building-hopping exercises, the government plans on using the National Cyber Range to probe the capabilities and flaws in network protocols and communication technologies.

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