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U.S. cybersecurity test shelved until 2006

Homeland Security says it has its hands full with "real world events," including the recent hurricanes.

A national exercise designed to test the government's readiness to handle cyberemergencies won't happen until February, a Department of Homeland Security spokesman confirmed Wednesday. The department, which is headed toward a cybersecurity makeover of sorts, originally planned to run the mock attack-and-response game--known as Cyberstorm--in November.

"While this exercise will be an important test of our readiness to respond to and mitigate a significant cyberattack, our first priority as a department is responding to real world events," spokesman Kirk Whitworth said in an e-mail to CNET News.com. "As a result of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, many of the department's resources, as well as those of the private sector which would have been involved in the Cyberstorm exercise, were reallocated to deal with the disasters in the Gulf."