Houston participates in mock cyberattack as part of research project

HOUSTON – Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner discussed Wednesday the city's participation in a mock cyberattack aimed at testing the city's response to hacking.

The Jack Voltaic 2.0 Cyber Security exercise is part of a research project happening at the Houston Emergency Center this week.

Turner said it is an important test to prevent future cyberattacks, specifically ones that occur during a natural disaster. He said it is designed to assess any holes in the city’s infrastructure that could be vulnerable to hacking. 

The mayor, joined by other city leaders and members of the military, stressed the importance of working together not only as a city, but also as a region and a nation in taking steps to prevent future attacks.

“This is not about being territorial, this is about being collaborative in our approach as it relates to security,” Turner said. “It’s about the whole region, and quite frankly, it’s about the whole country.”

According to Turner, there have been “a number of things we’ve prevented already.” 

He alluded to recent cyberattacks in Atlanta and Baltimore as examples of the threat posed to major American cities.

“It shut them down,” Turner said about the attack in Atlanta.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo also acknowledged the constant threat our nation faces.

“We are facing a daily threat across our nation,” Acevedo said. “State actors (are) constantly probing our infrastructure.”

Acevedo agreed that the security exercise will better prepare Houston for any future cyberattacks.