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NATO: Cyber attacks to trigger Article 5

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Jens Stoltenberg, NATO secretary-general, wrote that cyber-attacks “can affect every one of us”. The official mentioned that “For NATO, a serious cyber-attack could trigger Article 5 of our founding treaty. This is our collective defense commitment where an attack against one ally is treated as an attack against all.”

The official recalled that “In the United Kingdom, the 2017 WannaCry virus crippled computers in hospitals across the country, canceling thousands of scheduled operations and costing the National Health Service millions of pounds. Even NATO is not immune to cyber-attacks and we register suspicious activity against our systems every day. To keep us all safe, as it has been doing for 70 years, NATO is adapting to this new reality.”

According to Stoltenberg, NATO has designated cyberspace a domain in which the defense will be just as serious as it does in the air, on land, and at sea. “This means we will deter and defend against any aggression towards allies, whether it takes place in the physical world or the virtual one. We must work ever more closely together and leverage our unique network of allies, partner countries, and organizations. No single country alone can secure cyberspace, but by co-operating closely, sharing expertise, we will not only survive but thrive in the new digital age”.

The allegation was considered normal by the analysts, given that the understanding and definition of warfare continues to expand to include cyber-attacks on other countries as the norm.

NATO’s official statement was published in Prospect Magazine.

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