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This article was published on January 12, 2009

NATO Prepares for Cyber Warfare (video)

NATO Prepares for Cyber Warfare (video)
Toivo Tänavsuu
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Toivo Tänavsuu

Journalist and blogger Toivo Tänavsuu is from Estonia and just released his new business, IT and innovations weblog about "enterprises, roar Journalist and blogger Toivo Tänavsuu is from Estonia and just released his new business, IT and innovations weblog about "enterprises, roaring like tigers", TigerPrises.com. He shares some of his best stories on The Next Web.

NATO wants to be well prepared when facing cyber-terrorists, so the alliance has established a think tank called the Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Estonia. Let’s just call it NATO Cyberbrain.

No computer freaks, but just ties

I paid a visit to Alliance’s Cyberbrain and was somewhat surprised – instead of a bunch of computer freaks sitting behind screens and being clinged into cyberspace I only saw men wearing suits and ties. They explained to me it’s a think tank, receiving the “raw data” from national CERTs (computer emergency response teams).

Own rules for cyber attacks

Another funny thing is that they follow the rules created by themselves. They are neither accountable to NATO nor US or Estonia’sn Defence Ministry’s. Only to their own steering committee.

So, for example, if this committee would decide to establish close cooperation with Kaspersky, which people say has connections with Russian administration, they’d do it. Although the Kremlin is believed to have fuelled or at least approved well-known cyberattacks against Estonia and Georgia.

Read more about 2007 cyber attacks against Estonia from here and beware – it could happen in your country too.

Interview with NATO Cyberbrain scientist

I had an interesting video-recorded conversation with Kenneth Geers, scientist working for NATO Cyberbrain. Take a look! (Sorry for the non-TV quality).

Geers explained me the work that’s done in the center, that he claims to be unique in the world. He also gave some ideas about who are cyber criminals, how they think, and how they’d want to control not only our bank accounts, but also strategic weapons.

The latest trends in cybercrime

Latest global report on cyber crime, published in Estonian media showed some worrying trends:

  • Cyber criminals enjoy practical immunity in countries such as Russia and China.
  • The strategical planning of cyber criminals become more and more sophisticated, but the Governments remain slumbering and ignorant on dealing with the issue.
  • One of the greatest challenges for dealing with the issue of cyber crime is absence of relevant international law.
  • The law regulating e-commerce is especially insufficient.
  • Collecting the digital evidence and managing it in courts is unfortunately also inept.
  • The number of so-called spamming zombie-computers has quadrupled during the last quarter. They are able to send 100 billion spam messages daily.
  • E-criminals are among the winners of global economic recession.
  • There are already more than 7500 websites in the Internet directly under the control of terrorists.
  • Cyber criminals will very soon be capable of attacking a country’s electrical, water and gas supplies and internet banking systems.

Here’s a post I wrote about how Estonia is “arming” its nation against cyber criminals.

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