for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up

NATO agrees cyber attack could trigger military response

A man types on a computer keyboard in Warsaw in this February 28, 2013 illustration file picture. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Files

NEWPORT Wales (Reuters) - NATO leaders agreed on Friday that a large-scale cyber attack on a member country could be considered an attack on the entire U.S.-led alliance, potentially triggering a military response.

The decision marks an expansion of the organisation’s remit, reflecting new threats that can disable critical infrastructure, financial systems and government without firing a shot.

“Today we declare that cyber defence is part of NATO’s core task of collective defence,” NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told a news conference.

In 2007, a series of crippling cyber attacks paralysed much of NATO member Estonia in an apparent response to a dispute over the movement of a Soviet-era war memorial. Most Western experts suspected the Kremlin was responsible but Russia denied it.

Reporting by Adrian Croft; editing by Paul Taylor

for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up