Expert hackers attack model city in Cyber War Games

Shell Cove Lego city
The fictional model city of Shell Cove is under attack! Image: Australian Government Department of Human Services

Australian cybersecurity experts from 14 government departments and private sector organisations have been battling it out this week in the third annual Cyber War Games.

Dubbed Operation Tsunami 2019, the War Games have seen some of our top minds in cybersecurity play the ‘bad guys’ in a cyber attack on the fictional Lego city of Shell Cove.

The model city is a stand-alone IT system developed for the games over the past three years. It contains more than 100,000 pieces of Lego and allows the players to see the impacts of their cyber crimes on the town’s critical infrastructure in real time.

“The games will see competitors use the very cyber warfare tactics they work hard to fight against in their day-to-day roles,” said the Minister for Government Services, Stuart Robert.

“Cyber security threats are evolving so rapidly that cyber defenders need to be a step ahead of innovations in the domain.

“This year’s games allows players to get into the minds of attackers operating out there in the real world, helping them anticipate and prepare for threats they otherwise may not have considered.”

The War Games have been running all week and finish up tomorrow

There are 14 public and private organisations participating in the games. They are:

  • Department of Human Services
  • Department of Home Affairs
  • Department of Defence
  • Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission
  • Australian Energy Market Operator
  • AusGrid
  • Energy Australia
  • Energy Queensland
  • Transgrid
  • AGL Energy
  • Woodside
  • Vodafone
  • Optus
  • Insurance Australia Group

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Gemma Chilton

Author: Gemma Chilton

Gemma has a degree in journalism from the University of Technology, Sydney and spent a semester studying environmental journalism in Denmark. She has been writing about science and engineering for over a decade.

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