Cybersecurity Crisis Training
Cablegate Cybersecurity Crisis Training: Stakeholder Press Conference Exercise (Cablegate)Purpose: This exercise is designed to give you practical experience in handling real-life cybersecurity threats or attacks for their organization. Through this exercise, you will better understand how the types of cyber-attacks described in class are applied, take a shot at forming policy solutions, and sharpen communication.Deliverables: Prepare a sample press packet. This press packet should include the following items:Press Release (1 page)Short technical background sheet (1-2 pages)• This section should describe in more detail the technical issues of the problem at hand.• It may also include pictures and diagrams.Frequently Asked Questions (1 page)• This section should anticipate questions other stakeholders or the media would ask in response to the problem and should provide your organization’s answers.Preparation: Read the material found via the links below. Additional research on stakeholder positions is strongly suggested as well. You may use any resource you deem necessary to prepare your statement, press kit, and for Q&A.Potential roles:There are two important stakeholder roles in this cybersecurity crisis situation. You may choose to take on one of two different roles:• US Department of State• WikileaksIn February 2010, WikiLeaks -a non-profit organization that publishes submissions of classified media from anonymous news sources, news leaks, and whistleblowers in “defense of freedom of speech and media publishing, the improvement of our common historical record and the support of the rights of all people to create new history”1— began releasing classified cables that had been sent to the U.S. State Department between December 1966 and February 2010.The initial release of the cables, which were published by a host of other publishers such as the New York Times and The Guardian, caused a stir among political leaders, defenders of free speech, as well as the general public. While some supported WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange for promoting transparency and protecting journalism, others viewed Assange as a criminal and endangered the nation’s security. In fact, WikiLeaks became a target for other “hacktivists,” some of whom believed the organization “threatened the lives of our troops and other assets.”2Consequently, both the U.S. Department of State and WikiLeaks have come under close scrutiny, leaving the public to question how outsiders were able to access classified information from the U.S. government, what negative consequences or international crises might arise as a result of the cables’ release, and whether WikiLeaks has created the “first serious infowar” as tweeted by Electronic Frontier Foundation co-founder, John Perry Barlow.Julian Assange was indicted on charges that he conspired with Chelsea Manning to hack into a classified government computer, the US Department of Justice. Assange is accused of trying to help Manning, a former US Army intelligence analyst, to crack a password to infiltrate Pentagon computers while she was leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks.Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange on May 23, 2019 was hit with new federal criminal charges alleging he published secret documents obtained by former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, some of which included the disclosure of foreigners who were aiding the U.S. military abroad. Assange was charged with 17 new criminal counts, which included violations of the Espionage Act. The charges, contained in an indictment issued in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, were revealed during a press conference held by Department of Justice officials in Washington.Your assignment is to explore this incident further, using your research to present it from the perspective of your stakeholder. Your goal is to publish a press release which explains the controversy and your organization’s future plans or suggested policy changes in response to it.Note: For the timing of the exercise, we will assume it’s after the arrests of Bradley/Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange.
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