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NATO assembles cyber task force to bolster defence capabilities against online attacks

Warwick Ashford

Nato is planning to bolster its cyber defence capabilities.

The defence organisation is to assemble a task force to detect and defend against online attacks.

The decision to set up Cyber Red Team coincides with NATO plans to strengthen online defences between its 28 member nations and agree codes of conduct for warfare engagement.

NATO officials say the force could launch offensive strikes against targets, participate in cyber defence exercises and gather vulnerability intelligence, according to AFP reports.

The UK and US have considered capabilities that would permit counter-attacks against offensive strikes targeting national critical infrastructure.

At the end of May, UK armed forces minister Nick Harvey revealed that the UK is working on a cyber-weapon programme as part of the UK's national armoury. Nick Harvey said the programme included offensive capabilities to counter cyber warfare threats to national security.

Cyberspace will form part of the future battlefield, said Harvey.

Harvey said reliance on digital networks of transport, power and communications systems brings the capacity for warfare to cyberspace. The consequences of a well-planned, well-executed attack against the UK's digital infrastructure could be catastrophic, he said.

The government has made cyber-security a tier-one priority and allocated £650m to upgrade cyber-defence as part of last year's strategic defence and security review (SDSR).


Read more about geopolitical and regional cyber security


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