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Group recommends joint NATO-Russia 'cyber' war games

Rules of engagement in the digital age

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The North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Russia should undertake joint information-warfare exercises so the two countries can better protect critical digital infrastructure, policy wonks at an international group said.

The proposal, which was included in a 32-page report released Wednesday by the EastWest Institute, would help the US and Russia achieve mutual goals in much the way that previous collaborations in the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) have, its authors argued.

“In the framework of NATO-Russia scientific cooperation, Russia and the United States should engage in reciprocal observation of and participation in simulations of cyber attacks,” they wrote. “Along with the NATO partners, both countries should develop methodologies and standards for vulnerability assessments and ranking of critical facilities.”

It was one of four recommendations submitted in the paper, which was titled Russia, The United States, and Cyber Diplomacy: Opening the Doors. The paper's objective is for both countries' to work together to improve their digital security. The other recommendations are:

  • Expand existing “cyber crime emergency response” systems and “champion a global framework of 24/7 points of contact.” This could be done under the umbrella of the G8.
  • Jointly assess “cyber warfare” policies, particularly rules of engagement for offensive attacks on countries' critical infrastructure.
  • Develop an “ecosystem” of trusted identities through public key infrastructure framework developed by the ITU.

The paper was released the same day that a top US defense official said NATO should build a “cyber shield” to protect the alliance's military and economic infrastructure from internet threats. ®

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