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15 May 2008, 09:52

NATO members set up Cyber Defence Centre

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Seven NATO members have signed a treaty in Brussels to establish a centre for cyber defence in Estonia. In addition to Estonia, participants include Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Spain.

The project was proposed by Estonia in June 2007 and finally agreed in January. Estonia was chosen as the site because so many of that country's government and financials servers were taken down in DDoS attacks a year ago during protests against the displacement of a Soviet era war memorial. At that time, Estonians spoke of cyber war and believed they were under attack with the support of the Russian government. However, the only person proven to date to have been behind the attacks was an Estonian student prosecuted and fined in January 2008.

Those behind the project emphasized that the centre, which will be opened in 2009 with an initial staff of 30 experts, is not a military unit and will not be designed to undertake defence measures directly. Rather, it will develop standards and means for joint defence in consultation with member states. Only recently, NATO announced that it takes cyber threats as seriously as missile defence and energy security.


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