7 June 2010, 16:34

NATO can use force to respond to hacker attacks

NATO can use force to respond to hacker attacks
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NATO countries have the right to use force to respond to hacker attacks on its computer networks. The announcement was made at a meeting comprising NATO experts, headed by the former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

NATO countries have the right to use force to respond to hacker attacks on its computer networks. The announcement was made at a meeting comprising NATO experts, headed by the former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

The issue of computer security has been repeatedly discussed since April 2007, when the sites in Estonia were first attacked by hackers following the decision of the country’s government to dismantle a Soviet war memorial in Tallinn. Mr. Andrei Masalovich, an IT-expert for the Dialogue-Nauka company, comments:

"Estonia is a small country, where 95% of all payments go through the Internet. After the 2007 hacker attacks, the country was in chaos, and complained to its ‘elder’ colleagues in NATO. Then an idea emerged to set up a center outside Tallinn to fight cyber attacks. Estonia claims it to be one of the most influential centers of the kind worldwide." 

The US will put the issue on the agenda of the next NATO summit in Portugal this November. Mr. Masalovich continues: "It has been quite difficult to detect the places from where the attacks are carried out. To avoid bigger problems, we must approve a legal code for the international cyber zone." 

As thousands of cyber attacks are taking place each day, there is nothing surprising about the US taking this problem so seriously. The US government has been seeking new methods as well as additional sources of financing to fight hacker attacks. Director of the R-Techno agency, Roman Romachev, comments:

"The US is overestimating the cyber threat to receive more money from the budget which they need to set up a special body to monitor hacker attacks. I think we should not expect any missile attacks against hackers, otherwise nothing will be left on the planet."  

It is hard to predict how the situation will unfold, because the threat we are talking about now may become real only a few years later. Remember the Caribbean crisis of the 1960s, which had been much spoken about long before it broke out. Taking into consideration the fact that the US has always sought leadership in all spheres, including information warfare, the news about their responsive measures against hackers can be viewed as a threat to global security. To avoid danger, the countries should join efforts to regulate cooperation in the cyber realm.    

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