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NATO Members Form Cyber Defense Center

Estonia will serve as headquarters for new effort; US not joining yet

Seven NATO nations and the Allied Command Transformation have established a Cooperative Cyber Defense (CCD) Center of Excellence (COE) in Tallin, Estonia.

The center will conduct research and training on cyber warfare and include a staff of 30 persons, half of them specialists from the sponsoring countries: Estonia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, and Spain.

The U.S. will participate as an observer. The plans of other NATO leaders -- such as the U.K. and France -- were not immediately clear.

The agreement comes a year after a major cyber attack on Estonian public and private institutions prompted NATO to conduct a thorough assessment of its approach to cyber defenses. At their meeting in October 2007 Allied Defense Ministers called for the development of a NATO cyber defense policy, which was adopted early 2008.

In April, the Bucharest Summit Declaration paved the way for the establishment of the Estonian COE, emphasizing the need for NATO members to protect key information systems and develop the ability to counter a cyber attack.

— Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading

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