NATO Could Go To War Over A Cyber Attack

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization would consider a large enough cyber attack against one member an attack on them all, according to NATO officials.

A persistent and devastating attack could trigger what is known as Article 5, NATO’s collective defense measure, the officials told delegates at the International Conference on Cyber Conflict (CyCon) in Estonia Wednesday, according to Defense News. The invocation of Article 5 could theoretically cause the alliance to go to war in defense of a member state.

“Although many of the cyberattacks that we see fall below a level in their seriousness that could trigger NATO’s Article 5, it is plausible that a cyberspace event of great magnitude could take place that might lead to the triggering of Article 5 in special circumstances,” said Catherine Lotrionte, director of Georgetown University’s CyberProject.

The attack would have to be much more dangerous than propaganda or social media activities, she added, but invoking Article 5 is still a “real possibility.”

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