*IBM Built a Copy of the Internet for Mock Cyberattacks

By Tom Brant   …..

A simulated version of the entire Internet is now live inside an IBM data center in Massachusetts, where the company plans to hold mock cyberattacks against large corporations.

The “cyber range,” located just a few blocks from MIT in Cambridge, is manned by former security experts from federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies. They can use live malware, ransomware, and other hacking tools to stage realistic cyberattacks.

IBM said in a statement that it is the first privately operated facility of its kind.

It’s built around the intranet of a fictitious corporation, with more than one petabyte of information and more than 3,000 users. IBM hopes it will better prepare its clients to recover from the type of large-scale attack that disabled much of the US Internet infrastructure for several hours last month. 

“Response is such a big part of security, but it’s often a forgotten part of security,” IBM Security General Manager Marc van Zadelhoff said at the facility’s unveiling Wednesday, according to BostInno. Seventy-five percent of IT and security professionals that IBM surveyed said their organizations don’t have a modern incident response plan in place.

In addition to getting critical systems back online, the response to a cyberattack typically involves notifying a company’s customers in addition to alerting government authorities.

The Obama administration recently issued new rules for handling cyberattacks, complete with a color-coded “cyber incident severity schema” reminiscent of the Bush-era Homeland Security Advisory System.

IBM’s Cambridge center is the latest addition to its security division, which already has 1,400 experts in multiple data centers around the world who use the Watson artificial intelligence platform to detect attacks.


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