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NATO Ponders Returning Fire

By Kevin Coleman Defense Tech Cyber War Correspondent

Multiple cyber intelligence sources have warned for some time now of the growing cyber threat from Russia, China and others. The Albright Group recently released a report that stated that a cyber attack targeting the critical infrastructure of a NATO country or countries could equate to an armed attack, justifying retaliation. The warnings appear to now have come true. Recently, NATO members were the target of a series of cyber attacks said to be linked back to Russian hackers.

That appears to be exactly what is on the mind of NATO Commanders. Multiple sources say NATO is now considering the use of military force against enemies who launch cyber attacks on its member states. Many world leaders now fear that future cyber attacks will escalate up into a full blown cyber war and possibly evolve into a conventional form of conflict. Just recently, security and military advisors around the world have expressed their concern that a successful cyber attack on the critical infrastructure of a NATO country could lead to defense measures under article 5. Reference: NATO: Article V and Collective Defense

Article 5 is a key component of the 1949 NATO Charter and states that any armed attack on one or more NATO countries would be considered an attack against all NATO countries. One thing is certain, the cyber threat situation is very dynamic and the proliferation of cyber weapons persists and capabilities of cyber weapons continue to increase. Once again the international rules of cyber conflict need to be developed and agreed upon.

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