22:55 GMT11 April 2021
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    The NATO chief said he did not see an imminent cyberattack threat but the alliance stepped up its capabilities.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) does not see an "imminent threat" of cyberattacks against its allies but nonetheless ramps up its defensive capabilities, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday.

    "We don't see any imminent threat against a NATO ally. What we see is a more assertive Russia, we see a Russia which has invested significantly in their Armed Forces," Stoltenberg told reporters.

    The Western military alliance chief said that NATO has been "very focused on how can we strengthen our cyber defenses." to protect both its own networks and assist allies in improving their capacities.

    "We also developed a team of experts that can be deployed to a NATO ally if it is under cyberattack to help and assist and help them defend their cyber networks," Stoltenberg added.

    NATO member states recognized cyberspace as a fourth operational domain — in addition to land, air and sea — at the Warsaw Summit last July.

    "We are concerned of course about cybersecurity," he reiterated, citing media reports of alleged Russian hacks on political entities in the United States. "Cybersecurity is top of the agenda."

    The Kremlin has repeatedly denied claims that it hacked into foreign institutions.

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