Nato is to set up a fast response centre to fight cyberattacks on members' critical national infrastructure and Nato bodies.
The Cyber Defence Management Authority (CDMA) will be based in Brussels and start operations before the end of the year, a Nato spokesman said.
This follows the ratification of a Nato cyberdefence policy by heads of state at the Nato summit in Bucharest today. The policy was prompted by the coordinated attack on Estonia, a Nato member, in April and May 2007.
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Implementation of the policy is already under way. A cyberdefence centre of excellence in Tallin, Estonia, has already been established.
Parts of Nato's present cyberattack alert and response capability will be merged and combined with national and private sector elements in the new CDMA, the spokesman said.
The CDMA will co-ordinate responses to attacks if invited by national cyberdefence authorities. It will also develop and propose standards and procedures for national and Nato cyberdefence organisations to prevent, detect and deter attacks.
The spokesman said, "The keynote is defence, whether an attack comes from state, criminal or other sources."
The Estonia centre of excellence will research and develop counters to cyberattacks, and provide training to cyberdefence staff.
The spokesman said the details of implementation are still being worked out, but the intention was to be open as possible to non-member national and private sector bodies.