Q2/2020 - NATO

Statement concerning malicious cyber activities, 3 June 2020

In a statement dated 3 June 2020, the NATO Council condemned abuse of cyber space for malicious activities in relation with the coronavirus pandemic[1]. The statement refers to the resolution adopted at the 2018 NATO Summit, which classifies cyber defence as an integral part of the collective defence of all NATO members. The commitment to a “rules-based, predictable, open, free, and secure cyberspace“ and the fact that international law applies offline and online is affirmed. According to the statement, all NATO states have the duty to counter destabilising and malicious cyber activities.


NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, press conference, Brussels, 18 June 2020

At the North Atlantic Council’s session on 18 June 2020, the Council further updated NATO’s guidelines for national resilience to take greater account of cyber threats. It also agreed on enhanced collaboration of EU and NATO in the field of cyber security, as NATO Secretary-General informed the press[2].


Mehr zum Thema
  1. [1] Statement by the North Atlantic Council concerning malicious cyber activities, Brussels, 3 June 2020: „We stand united as we face this unprecedented coronavirus pandemic. We condemn destabilising and malicious cyber activities directed against those whose work is critical to the response against the pandemic, including healthcare services, hospitals and research institutes. These deplorable activities and attacks endanger the lives of our citizens at a time when these critical sectors are needed most, and jeopardise our ability to overcome the pandemic as quickly as possible. NATO continues to play its part in responding to the pandemic. Allies as well as partners are supporting each other, including through providing and transporting medical supplies, deploying medical personnel and helping to deliver innovative responses. We stand in solidarity with those who have been affected by malicious cyber activities and remain ready to assist Allies, including by continuing to share information, as they respond to cyber incidents that affect essential services. In line with their national responsibilities and competences, Allies are committed to protecting their critical infrastructure, building resilience and bolstering cyber defences, including through full implementation of NATO’s Cyber Defence Pledge. As stated at the 2018 NATO Summit in Brussels, cyber defence is part of NATO’s core task of collective defence. Reaffirming NATO’s defensive mandate, we are determined to employ the full range of capabilities, including cyber, to deter, defend against and counter the full spectrum of cyber threats. NATO will continue to adapt to the evolving cyber threat landscape, which is affected by both state and non-state actors, including state-sponsored. We all stand to benefit from a rules-based, predictable, open, free, and secure cyberspace. NATO reiterates that international law applies in cyberspace and must be respected. All states have an important role to play in promoting and upholding voluntary norms of responsible state behaviour and in countering destabilising and malicious cyber activities.“ https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/official_texts_176136.htm?selectedLocale=en
  2. [2] Press conference by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg following the meetings of NATO Defence Ministers by teleconference, 18 June 2020: „Ministers decided to update NATO’s guidelines for national resilience to take greater account of cyber threats, the security of supply chains, and consequences of foreign ownership and control. I am also glad that we were joined by the High Representative/Vice President Borrell, and our close partners Finland, and Sweden. And we have intensified our cooperation with the EU in recent months. In areas including cyber defence and countering disinformation.“, in: https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/opinions_176561.htm?selectedLocale=en