NATO fights mal­ware, bugged de­vices at Es­to­nian cy­ber cen­ter

Kuwait Times - - TECHNOLOGY -

TARTU: NATO na­tions and al­lies are bat­tling mal­ware in tablets and in­fected de­vices this week in the al­liance’s largest cy­ber drill to date aimed at im­prov­ing mem­bers’ data pri­vacy in cri­sis sit­u­a­tions. Some 400 par­tic­i­pants from 33 coun­tries were fo­cused on solv­ing sce­nar­ios in­clud­ing at­tacks on high-rank­ing of­fi­cers’ com­puter equip­ment dur­ing an ex­er­cise at a cy­ber-range in Tartu, Es­to­nia’s sec­ond-largest city.

“The idea is to repli­cate dy­nam­ics and threats that are real,” said Lt. Col. Chris­tian Brac­cini, a re­searcher from the NATO cy­ber think tank and train­ing cen­ter in the cap­i­tal, Tallinn. The five-day Cy­ber Coali­tion 2015 ex­er­cise, which ends Fri­day, in­cluded teams from non-NATO mem­bers Aus­tria, Fin­land and Swe­den, with Ge­or­gia, Ja­pan and Jor­dan as ob­servers.

It comes amid a flour­ish of NATO ac­tiv­ity and re­cent vis­its by NATO Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral Jens Stoltenberg to the re­gion, where Nordic and Baltic coun­tries have watched Rus­sia’s in­creas­ing mil­i­tary pres­ence in the Baltic Sea with in­creas­ing trep­i­da­tion.

US Navy Com­man­der Robert Hoar, head of the NATO drill on be­half of the Al­lied Com­mand Oper­a­tions, stressed the sce­nar­ios do not in­clude at­tack­ing or de­fend­ing. He says teams were given re­al­is­tic “story lines” to solve, in­clud­ing cy­ber­at­tacks on de­vices. “The fo­cus of the ex­er­cise is not com­pe­ti­tion, it’s col­lab­o­ra­tion,” Hoar told re­porters.

Par­tic­i­pat­ing na­tions have at least one rep­re­sen­ta­tive at the high­se­cu­rity cy­ber ex­er­cise range in Tartu, 190 kilo­me­ters (120 miles) south­east of Tallinn. It is the third time such an event was held in Es­to­nia, one of the most wired and tech­no­log­i­cally ad­vanced coun­tries in the world. Es­to­nia it­self was tar­geted in 2007 by hack­ers in one of Europe’s first ma­jor or­ga­nized cy­ber­at­tacks. — AP

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