Funding shortfalls have prompted the Obama administration to curb spending on a Homeland Security Department group tasked with training operators of chemical facilities and other sites to fend off attempts at electronic sabotage, the Wall Street Journal reported last week.
The last four months have seen DHS officials drop plans for five gatherings hosted by the Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team.
The group has held a series of multiday sessions that teach computer infiltration methods to dozens of infrastructure and manufacturing personnel, Foreign Policy magazine reported on Tuesday. It then divides workers into "red" and "blue" teams, which compete respectively at breaking into and defending a simulated control system.
The organization also scours industrial computers for potential weak spots, and it dispatches experts to help nongovernmental sites respond to actual electronic attacks. The latter objective has been a focus of certain detractors, who argue that it leads to inefficient spending.
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