Nato Faces Cyber Attack Threat, Says Study of Defences

There are "serious gaps" in Nato

From Richard Norton-Taylor, the Guardian:  The world’s most powerful military alliance is increasingly vulnerable to attack by unconventional weapons and cyberwarfare in particular, Nato governments were warned today.

"The next significant attack on the alliance may well come down a fibre optic cable," according to a draft new Nato "strategic concept." There are unacceptable "serious gaps" in Nato’s cyber defences, it warns.

The warnings are contained in a report by a group of high-level experts chaired by Madeleine Albright, the former US secretary of state. …

Senior Nato military officials and diplomats say they are concerned about the lack of co-ordinated planning against cyber attacks. …

Asked whether a cyber attack or the cutting off of energy supplies – also cited in the report – would in future be considered a military attack, the paper dodges the issue by stating that whether Nato’s article five would be triggered would depend on "the nature, source, scope, and other aspects of the particular security challenge."

"Already, cyber attacks against Nato systems occur frequently, but most often below the threshold of political concern," says the Albright report. "However, the risk of a large-scale attack on Nato’s command and control systems or energy grids could readily warrant consultations … and could possibly lead to collective defence measures under article 5."  (photo: Gamma Ray Studio/Getty)

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