Feeds

Relax hackers! NATO has no cyber-attack plans - top brass

Internet warfare? Just think of the paperwork

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

CyCon 2012 NATO does NOT need cyber-offensive capabilities, according to a senior military commander.

Major General Jaap Willemse, who was speaking at the International Conference on Cyber Conflict (CyCon), said launching barrages of computer-based attacks is off the agenda for the Western military alliance, at least for the immediate future.

"Nobody at NATO is considering it. There are huge political, legal and diplomatic objections," said the assistant chief of staff command, control, communication and intelligence at NATO Allied Command Transformation. "There are huge risks compared to the potential benefits."

"NATO does not have the doctrine, command and control, educational support or other factors needed to run an offensive capability," he added.

Although there might be a need for internet-based sorties in the future, the Royal Netherlands Air Force major general said: "It could become another tool for a NATO commander like electronic warfare and intelligence."

For now, however, NATO's efforts should be limited to developing an ability to simulate cyber-attacks for testing purposes - and protecting nations' critical infrastructures from hackers should ordinarily be left to the 28 national governments that make up NATO. Maj Gen Willemse said NATO's role should be limited to monitoring unless clear gaps in defences appear that present a need to intervene.

NATO's current action plan runs until 2015, and the alliance needs a new roadmap with a "solid plan based on risk assessment", Maj Gen Willemse said while giving the opening keynote at the fourth CyCon in Estonia on Wednesday.

"Governments are not going to pour money into a black hole," he concluded. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.