NATO plans to conduct cyber exercises: Secretary General

Brussels: NATO nations are planning to conduct exercises to test their cyber capabilities, which are an integral part of any modern military operation, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday, without providing further details.

“Cyber is an integrated part of any military operation today. And of course we will exercise cyber – exactly what kind of cyber capabilities we will exercise I think I am not going into it now,” Stoltenberg said at a briefing.

He also recalled that NATO had earlier “decided to integrate what we call national cyber effects – it is also called offensive cyber.. into NATO missions and operations.”

“We will of course use these national cyber effects in compliance with international law but we need also these capabilities in the modern and more demanding security environment,” Stoltenberg stressed.

At the Brussels Summit in July 2018, NATO leaders agreed to create a Cyberspace Operations Centre as part of NATO’s strengthened Command Structure. They also agreed to integrate national cyber capabilities into NTAO missions and operations.

On September 17, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in an interview with Axios news portal that the bloc might invoke Article 5 on collective defence in case of a cyber-attack carried out by Russia.

The statements came after London and Amsterdam claimed that the Russian foreign military intelligence had attempted to carry out attacks on political institutions and media outlets in the United Kingdom and The Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). Russia has strongly refuted the allegations and accused the West of rampant spy mania.