Cy­ber se­cu­rity to be fo­cus of next NATO meet­ing


With cy­ber threats es­ca­lat­ing, the next meet­ing of NATO De­fence Min­is­ters will in­clude a ma­jor fo­cus on cy­ber se­cu­rity, US Sec­re­tary of De­fense Leon Panetta said. Panetta said he called on NATO to ad­dress the is­sue, as the cy­ber threat from other na­tions and hack­ers con­tin­ues to grow.

“We are see­ing con­tin­u­ing at­tacks in the cy­ber arena, on the pri­vate sec­tor, on the pub­lic sec­tor, in the de­fence arena,” Panetta told re­porters as the two-day NATO min­is­te­rial meet­ing. “This is with­out ques­tion the bat­tle­field of the fu­ture and a sce­nario that NATO needs to pay at­ten­tion to.”

His com­ments come in the wake of a new report by a pri­vate cy­ber se­cu­rity firm that con­cluded that a spe­cial unit of China’s mil­i­tary is re­spon­si­ble for sus­tained cy­ber es­pi­onage against US com­pa­nies and government agen­cies. China has de­nied involvement in the at­tacks in which mas­sive amounts of data and cor­po­rate trade se­crets, likely worth hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars, were stolen.

The US Government of­fi­cials have said that na­tions around the world must work to­gether in or­der to tack­lle the grow­ing cy­ber threats. To date there are no broadly ac­cepted rules that de­scribe what con­sti­tutes a cy­ber act of war or the pa­ram­e­ters of the bat­tle­field in cy­berspace. Na­tions also have widely dis­parate laws gov­ern­ing In­ter­net crime.

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