Brno, Oct 7 (CTK) – An exercise simulating a cyber attack on a nuclear power plant and checking Czech experts’ readiness to cope with it is being held in the new Cyber Polygon of Brno’s Masaryk University Wednesday.

It is the first exercise of its kind in the Czech Republic.

The teams of fictitious attackers and defenders are comprised of IT and cyber experts from academic institutions, ministries, industry and the National Security Office, many of whom really face hackers’ attacks in their everyday work.

The exercise is to help experts train tackling cyber incidents as a team, Radim Ostadal, from the National Cyber Safety Centre, told journalists.

The attacks will continue for several hours, their methods will vary and they will escalate. They may even paralyse the fictitious power plant’s operation.

The exercise started on Tuesday, when the participants got acquainted with the infrastructure in question and prepared it for hackers’ attacks.

“The attackers will try to open what can be called a rear door to the power plant’s system,” said Jan Vykopal, chief security expert at the Brno university.

The attackers, in the role of nuclear energy opponents, are sitting in a separated room.

The defenders, on their part, have to communicate with fictitious journalists, and they can discuss their steps with a lawyer.

The scenario of the exercise is fictitious but its details are based on practical experiences.

“We daily face the types of attacks the attackers will make within the exercise Wednesday,” Vykopal said.

The university opened the Cyber Polygon worth 22 million crowns this spring. The polygon offers a closed space for testing attacks without posing any risks to infrastructure outside.

Wednesday’s exercise is the first big test of the Polygon’s operation, university vice-rector Tomas Bulant said.