NATO networks vulnerable to cyber threat: US

Jan 25, 2011
NATO's military networks are not fully protected against cyber threats and the alliance must make good on a pledge to erect a virtual wall by 2012, US Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn, pictured in 2009, warned.

NATO's military networks are not fully protected against cyber threats and the alliance must make good on a pledge to erect a virtual wall by 2012, a top US defence official said Tuesday.

US Deputy Defence Secretary William Lynn warned at the end of a two-day visit to Brussels that the cyber threat was "maturing" from an and disruption tool to a destructive force against vital infrastructure.

"I think the discussion for NATO at this point, the threshold step is we need to be able to protect our own military networks, and frankly we're not there yet," Lynn told journalists after meetings with European Union and NATO officials as well as the private sector.

The Pentagon's number two recalled that NATO had made the battle against a priority at a summit in November, when leaders agreed to bring the NATO Cyber Incident Response Center to full operational capability in 2012, three years earlier than previously planned.

"The first step for NATO is to protect its own networks. We need concrete steps, we need to move to the full operational capability for the NATO Cyber Incident Response Center, which is basically making good on the promise from Lisbon to pull that forward from 2015 to 2012," he said.

Lynn said he was "optimistic that we will make good on the high-level commitments," but called for a private-public partnership to face up to the threat, which could spawn viruses that would destroy transport and financial systems.

"The cyber threat is still maturing, I don't think we're at the final stage of what that threat might look like," Lynn said.

"History would tell you that somebody will take it to the extreme.

"I think that's a significant reason to act now to get ahead of that kind of threat, so you've started to put appropriate protections in for your critical networks before the threat matures," he added.

Explore further: Music site SoundCloud to start paying artists

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

US urges NATO to build 'cyber shield'

Sep 15, 2010

NATO must build a "cyber shield" to protect the transatlantic alliance from any Internet threats to its military and economic infrastructures, a top US defence official said Wednesday.

NATO mobilises for cyber warfare

Nov 18, 2010

In 1989, before the Internet revolution, Suleyman Anil was the lone man in charge of the security of NATO's IT system, armed with a single computer.

Time to wake up to cyber threat: experts

Jun 18, 2010

NATO governments and the public must wake up to the threat of cyberattacks, which could paralyse a nation far more easily than conventional warfare, experts warned Friday.

Recommended for you

Music site SoundCloud to start paying artists

4 hours ago

SoundCloud said Thursday that it will start paying artists and record companies whose music is played on the popular streaming site, a move that will bring it in line with competitors such as YouTube and Spotify.

Facebook awards 'Internet Defense Prize'

12 hours ago

Facebook awarded a $50,000 Internet Defense Prize to a pair of German researchers with a seemingly viable approach to detecting vulnerabilities in Web applications.

Twitter tries to block images of Foley killing

Aug 20, 2014

Twitter and some other social media outlets are trying to block the spread of gruesome images of the beheading of journalist James Foley by Islamic State militants, while a movement to deny his killers publicity ...

User comments : 0