Q3/2019 - NATO

Secretary-General Stoltenberg on Cyber Defence, 27 August 2019

In an article published in the journal “Prospect” on 27 August 2019, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg gave a detailed summary about the cyber strategy of the North Atlantic Treaty Organizations[1]. Stoltenberg made clear that the growing number of cyber attacks was challenging NATO and that the Alliance was going to further enhance its deterrence and defence capabilities by a range of measures including the arrangement of so-called “cyber manoeuvres”. In this context, Stoltenberg referred to the consensus among the NATO member states that under certain circumstances a cyber attack on a single NATO member can be considered an Article 5 case. Article 5 of the NATO Treaty of Washington (1948) states that a military attack on one member state is regarded as an attack against all and will thus invoke collective NATO defence.

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  1. [1] Jens Stoltenberg, NATO will defend itself, Prospect, 27. August 2019, „Cyberthreats to the security of our alliance are becoming more frequent, more complex and more destructive. They vary from low-level attempts to technologically sophisticated attacks. They come from state and non-state actors, from close to home and the other side of the world. Malicious actors can attack anything automated and networked, including the mobile phones in our pockets or the computers controlling our critical systems and infrastructure. Attacks can affect every one of us. In the United Kingdom, the 2017 WannaCry virus crippled computers in hospitals across the country, cancelling thousands of scheduled operations and costing the National Health Service millions of pounds. Even Nato is not immune to cyberattacks and we register suspicious activity against our systems every day. To keep us all safe, as it has been doing for 70 years, Nato is adapting to this new reality. For Nato, a serious cyberattack could trigger Article 5 of our founding treaty. This is our collective defence commitment where an attack against one ally is treated as an attack against all. We have designated cyberspace a domain in which Nato will operate and defend itself as effectively as it does in the air, on land, and at sea. This means we will deter and defend against any aggression towards allies, whether it takes place in the physical world or the virtual one.“ Siehe: www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/news_168435.htm