The European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) organised a simulated distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack last week involving more than 3000 information security professionals.
The Cyber Europe 2012 exercise was the second of its kind for European Union member states and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries.
It was designed to stress-test security capabilities and identify gaps and challenges on how large-scale cyber incidents could be handled more effectively in Europe.
It was also designed to test the effectiveness and scalability of existing mechanisms, procedures, information flow and cooperation between public authorities and all stakeholders in Europe.
Some 25 countries participated in the simulated attack and four observed.
“This was a collective effort with members of the organisations working with a friendly botnet to strike the services of members and point them in the right direction," Corero Network Security international operations vice president Paul Lawrence told iTnews' sister site SC Magazine.
"It was much more controlled than a standard attack as you can see where the traffic is coming from and see the levels of vulnerability.”
He pointed to the attack on Russia Today in August, which he said showed the newspaper did not have the right level of protection in place to deal with such an attack.
“They likely had a firewall and intrusion prevention system, but that is not enough to mitigate against a DDoS attack. This would have given organisations the ability to protect themselves and understand where the weaknesses are,” he said.