Seven NATO member countries have signed a deal to create a research centre aimed at protecting the alliance against cybercrime. The agreement involves three Baltic nations, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, along with Germany, Italy, Spain and Slovakia.
The United States will have observer status says US General James Mattis: “The massive waves of cyber attacks which have hit Estonia’s websites are a security issue which concerns NATO. Therefore cyberspace must be protected, just as we protect land, air and sea.”
The centre will be based in Estonia’s capital, Tallin, where a wave of co-ordinated attacks caused mayhem a year ago.
In April 2007, an Estonian government decision to remove a statue of a Soviet-era Red Army soldier from the centre of Tallin prompted angry clashes between the authorities and the country’s ethnic russian community.
The next day, Estonia experienced a series of attacks on its government, corporate and media websites. Tallin blamed Moscow, but Russian officials denied any involvement.
The incident was billed as a global wake-up call for internet security.