Cyber defence 'burdened' by diplomacy
02 July 2012
By Matthew D'Arcy
Countries still don't know how to respond to cyber espionage or attacks against critical national infrastructure, particularly when the perpetrator could be another country, a senior cyber director has warned.
In an article for the forthcoming edition of Public Service Review: Europe
, Colonel Ilmar Tamm will say NATO countries have been co-operating well when it comes to tackling cyber crime.
But Tamm, the departing director of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, said the situation became "more complicated" when dealing with "espionage" or attacks against "critical infrastructure".
"These are not crimes anymore but threats to nations' security which in many ways is a more delicate subject than crime," he said.
"We still don't really know how to respond to such situations. Naturally the question of attribution rises again but this time it comes with the heavy burden of diplomatic relations."
Accusing a criminal group from another country was a "sensible" action if the trail led to them.
"But accusing another nation on trying to steal your data or do you harm is quite a different case," he said.
This was further complicated by the fact that most nations would "rather hide than openly admit that they got hacked". Tamm said countries would be reluctant to even acknowledge their information had been stolen or that their security had been threatened, making co-operation in the area more difficult.This article first appeared on sister site PublicService.co.uk