“The cyber attacks are now more frequent and complex than ever before. They can be equally destructive as those who use conventional weapons. Just one mouse click is enough so that some of the dangerous computer viruses are sent worldwide and threaten our military capability, destroying our most important infrastructure and damaging billions of dollars in our economies.”, said NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg addressing to participants of the Second NATO Conference on Cyber Security held in London. This event is being held at the National Cyber Security Center, an institution set up by the British Government in 2016. Since the beginning of its existence, over 1,000 cyber attacks have been registered against the United Kingdom, and in the past 18 months with 16 NATO members, information and intelligence assessments have been made on malicious cyber activities from Russia against these countries.
The first man of the NATO has stated that this military alliance registers suspicious activities against the computer systems of its members on a daily basis. He added that cyber threats are becoming more sophisticated and more dangerous with the development of new technologies. He pointed out that attacks on computer systems could be triggered in the immediate vicinity of potential targets but also with thousands of miles of distant destinations. Stoltenberg stressed that the NATO treats cyber space as a battlefield and that the leaders of that military alliance have agreed to cyber attack on one of the members as an attack on everybody. In this case, as well as after an armed attack on one of the NATO countries, Article 5 of the Agreement establishing the NATO, which prescribes the joint defense, is activated.
General Secretary of the NATO reminded that at the summit of organization held in Brussels last year, they all agreed to establish the Operational Center for Cyber Space which will be in NATO command chain. On that occasion, it was decided that all members of the Western Military Alliance in the future act jointly in the conduct of cyber operations. In addition to Stoltenberg, Jeremy Fleming, director of the English intelligence service “GCHQ”, addressed to the participants of the Second NATO Conference on Cyber Security. He pointed out that this service faces cyber attacks on a daily basis, but so far none of them has been so dangerous to be included in the category of the most serious attacks. However, in his words, the NATO must continue planning its defense in the event that one threat becomes one day real.