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DHS Wants to Develop ‘Cyber Reserve’ After Observing Sandy’s Impact

Hurricane Sandy provides a look into what a successful cyberattack on U.S. infrastructure could be like.

While many officials have hypothesized on what could happen in the event of a successful cyberattack on the nation's infrastructure, Hurricane Sandy provided a test run of what it might be like. A task force led by U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano suggested the idea of recruiting a “Cyber Reserve” of computer security professionals who could be deployed to assist regions that need help in the event of a cyberattack or natural disaster, CSO Online reported.

"If you think that a critical systems attack that takes down a utility even for a few hours is not serious, just look at what is happening now that Mother Nature has taken out those utilities," Napolitano said.

The DHS task force recommended that two-year cyberprograms at community colleges be established to train large numbers of people and encourage military veterans to participate. The first of the programs could start as early as next year, Reuters reported.

Similar efforts to create a cyber-reserve program in other countries include a “white hat” hacker organization in Estonia that supports its national guard and a program being developed in the U.K.