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OAS Conducts Cyber Crisis Management Exercises with Guatemala

  May 28, 2013

The Organization of American States (OAS), in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior of Guatemala, today concluded a two-day workshop on the management of cyber crises in Antigua, Guatemala.

The workshop brought together relevant cyber security actors in Guatemala to learn to protect their citizens against threats in cyberspace. During the exercises a wide range of cyber incidents against the nation's critical infrastructure were simulated. The simulation of these incidents was carried out by using a specialized laboratory that was developed by the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE) of the organization with the support of the Department of Information and Technology Services (DOITS).

The exercises - which included simulations of denial of services attacks, site defacement and theft involving bank accounts – involved government institutions, energy industry representatives, academics, the financial sector and telecommunications companies.

The Minister of the Interior of Guatemala, Mauricio López Bonilla, highlighted the usefulness of the exercises in protecting the country against possible cyber attacks. "It was shown that the computer systems in both the public and private sectors are exposed, and although the technology should be harnessed for the development of our nations, there are illegal practices that are causing irreversible damage to the countries of the region," said the official, who thanked the CICTE of the OAS for "this great contribution in favor of the cyber security" of Guatemala.

For his part, the Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Technology of Guatemala, Juan Carlos Argueta Medina, said that the exercise will be used to "assess the capabilities of computer crisis response, and even the management of media and social networks."

The Executive Secretary of CICTE, Neil Klopfenstein, said during the event that "cyber security attacks are a serious problem and a real threat that is constantly evolving, both to information technology infrastructure and to government institutions, the private sector and civil society in general." Klopfenstein said that no country is exempt from cyber attacks, and that governments, the private sector and the civil society of the hemisphere should consider investing in cyber security and the development of frameworks and capabilities to protect the safety of their countries and their institutions.

The OAS Representative in Guatemala, Milagro Martinez de Torres-Chico, said that the activity is a sign of the commitment of the OAS is to the safety of Guatemala and the region." The OAS is willing to support initiatives to strengthen cyber security in Guatemala, and other countries in the Americas," she said.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-206/13