MANOA (Hawaii News Now)- The University of Hawaii will host cyber games next weekend to beat hackers at their own game.
It's the rollout for the new Cyber Range opened today on the Manoa campus.
Franklin Jackson explained why network security is so critical. "We rely on computer networks to run almost all our major infrastructure. Banking, finance, transportation, energy, healthcare, military and 911 calls."
During the cyber games August 2nd through the 4th, there will be teams trying to protect and attack the network.
"Understanding a cyber range" says the Governor's Homeland Security Advisor, Major General Darryll Wong, "I look at it as an athlete as a gymnasium."
Staff Sergeant David Lee Decker will head up one of the teams. The goal is to "assess the strengths and vulnerabilities of our systems."
Cyberspace is the modern battlefield. As Decker says, "Wars are going to be fought with ones and zeroes as much as bullets and bombs."
The cyber range will also be used by banks, private companies and utilities to train and test their defenses.
Another team leader, Summer Lee, describes the potential problems created by hackers. "Imagine if someone got into HECO for example. It's a critical infrastructure. It would be chaotic for the Island."
Hawaii is a natural battleground for cyber security with the attention raised by former Hawaii contractor and surveillance whistle blower Edward Snowden.
"This is serious business. We actually have a calendar put out by DAGS on cyber security" said Governor Neil Abercrombie. "When I saw the calendar this morning, I thought I might want to send it to Mr. Snowden in the Moscow airport."
The Governor said he'll ask the Legislature to make a significant investment in cyber security.
Follow Tannya Joaquin:
Copyright 2013 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.