www.wsj.com/articles/nato-to-recognize-cyberspace-as-new-frontier-in-defense-1465908566BRUSSELS—Allied defense ministers formally recognized cyberspace as a domain of warfare on Tuesday, an acknowledgment that modern battles are waged not only in air, sea and land, but also on computer networks.
The move comes the same day as the Democratic National Committee announced itscomputers had been hacked by the Russian government. DNC officials said the hackers made off with its opposition research related to Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for President.
The effort is designed to bolster allies’ cyberdefenses, but also will begin a debate over whether NATO should eventually use cyberweapons that can shut down enemy missilesand air defenses or destroy adversaries’ computer networks.
After the meeting of NATO defense ministers to approve the move, Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO secretary-general, said it was impossible to imagine a military conflict today without a cyber dimension.
“This is important to all possible conflicts we can foresee,” he said.
Mr. Stoltenberg declined to address the suspected cyberhack on the Democratic National Committee by the Russian government, and wouldn’t name any potential cyber adversaries, noting that NATO’s cyberdefenses weren’t aimed at any one country. U.S. and allied officials have previously said Russia remains the greatest cyberthreat to the alliance.
Developing capabilities to more quickly attribute responsibility for cyberintrusions and cyberattacks is a priority for the alliance, Mr. Stoltenberg said.
“One of the challenge when it comes to cyber is it is not easy to tell who is attacking you,” he said.
The decision by the ministers will allow the alliance to better coordinate its cyberspace efforts and defenses, Mr. Stoltenberg said.
“This is about developing our abilities and capabilities to protect NATO cyber networks but also to help and assist nations in defending their cyber networks,” he said.
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