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10 novembre 2011 4 10 /11 /novembre /2011 07:40

cyber warfare


9 Nov 2011 By JULIAN HALE DefenseNews


BRUSSELS - Countries need to have a good understanding of the cyber capabilities being developed by opponents, said a leading Israeli government official, because "you can't block an attack by waiting for the attack to come, including in cyber defense."


Isaac Ben-Israel, a senior cybersecurity adviser to the Israeli prime minister, was speaking at a Security and Defence Agenda event on cybersecurity.


Maj. Gen. Patrick Fermier, director of NATO C3 Staff, dodged a question about whether there was a need to improve cyber offensive capacity to improve cyber defense.


"NATO is trying to develop the protection of its infrastructure network," Fermier said. This is the first step, he added, after which "we'll see, at 28, what steps to take in the future. Protecting information and information sharing is a key parameter of success in any military operation."


Robert Bell, senior civilian representative of the secretary of defense in Europe and defense adviser to the U.S. ambassador to NATO, said that NATO needs to get all its agencies and commands under a single cyber defense roof by the end of 2012 and was on track to do that. He also said NATO needs to identify standards.


"We have no alternative except to work in close partnership with industry, which has much to teach us about the use of open standards to get us to the point where we need to be," he said.


He said Israel had realized in 2002 that the most vulnerable points are power production, water distribution, food supply etc. The country then set down a list of 19 key areas but faced a legal problem because most are owned or operated by the private sector. As a result, Israel had to change its laws and define how much government "intrusion" into the private sector was allowed in order to guarantee security.


The EU is faced with a similar issue in that a lot of its critical infrastructure is owned by the private sector. On this point, the German Ministry of the Interior has taken a stance in its national cybersecurity strategy, unveiled earlier this year.


"We are in favor of the alliance's commitment to establishing uniform security standards, which member states may also use for civilian critical infrastructures on a voluntary basis, as foreseen in NATO's new Strategic Concept," says the document.


Ben-Israel also said "there was a real threat from states and major criminal organizations." In that context, a report released Nov. 3 by U.S. intelligence agencies said, "the governments of China and Russia will remain aggressive and capable collectors of sensitive U.S. economic information and technologies, particularly in cyberspace."


Cecilia Malmström, the EU's commissioner for Home Affairs, pointed out that the EU has developed relations with NATO in this area and has a formal relationship with the U.S. But asked if there was an EU-NATO plan to respond to an Estonia-type cyber attack by another state or terrorist organization, she said that "there was no strategy."

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