Newly Declassified Video Sheds Light on 1997 Secret War Game that Exposed Vulnerabilities of Defense Department Computer Networks

Video Briefing to be Shown Publicly for First Time at University of Maryland University College Symposium, Tuesday, Oct. 10

Adelphi, Md. (Oct. 9, 2017) In 1997, a secret exercise was conducted by the Pentagon’s Joint Staff to assess the vulnerabilities of Department of Defense computer networks. The quick success of the Red Team alarmed senior officials and was a wake-up call for the government, stimulating creation of a new defensive organization that eventually became the U.S. Cyber Command.

The after-action video report that resulted from the exercise, known as “Eligible Receiver 97,” has now been declassified and will be shown publicly for the first time at a symposium held at University of Maryland University College on Tuesday, Oct. 10.

Cyber at the Crossroads features keynote addresses and panels with officials who were involved in Eligible Receiver, including retired Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minihan, director of the National Security Agency (NSA) at the time and the mastermind behind the exercise; Dr. John Hamre, President and CEO of the Center for Strategic and International Studies and Deputy Secretary of Defense during the exercise; retired U.S. Navy Capt. Michael Sare, who led the “Red Team” of hackers, which penetrated the DoD networks, and retired Lt. Gen. John Campbell, who headed up DoD’s response.

Rob Joyce, White House Cybersecurity Coordinator, will give the afternoon keynote address at Tuesday’s symposium, which follows a panel discussion of the future of cyber. As ubiquitous as the Internet of Things (IoT) is today, in the future, billions more devices will communicate with each other in ways that will open up new levels of revenue, advertising streams, and personal-information gathering. The IoT will also open up new opportunities for malevolent actors to use this world of interconnected devices to gain an even greater asymmetric advantage in a broad range of business, government, and military mission arenas.

For more information about the viewing of the declassified video at Cyber at the Crossroads, please contact Bob Ludwig at 301-887-7614 or Robert.ludwig@umuc.edu. See the symposium’s agenda.

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