EU and NATO prepare for extensive cyber exercise in autumn

As the Euractiv portal informed on 27 July, the EU PACE17 (Parallel and Coordinated Exercise) cyber exercise, taking place from 1 September to 11 October 2017, will test how the EU states would hold up under severe cyber attacks. EU PACE17, interlinked with the Estonian table top exercise CYBRID, will be carried out in collaboration with NATO.

The exercise aims to simulate real-world scenarios such as attacks from terrorist organizations, anti-globalization groups, and quasi-democratic states. The latter is likely an allusion to the Russian Federation, which has been repeatedly accused of aggressive behavior in cyberspace. The “quasi-democratic country” described in the scenario has advanced offensive cyber capabilities and controls hackers, hacktivists, and the national media while using proxies so the attacks are not traceable to its government. Other concepts include a global terrorist group belonging to a religious sect seeking to create a world-wide caliphate, or cyber actions of an anti-globalization movement financed through anonymous cryptocurrencies, for example by hostile countries. The tests will cover a wide range of capabilities from managing critical infrastructure attacks to resisting online disinformation campaigns.

The concept of PACE, which is to continue in 2018, is an example of intensified cooperation between the EU and NATO agreed upon at the NATO Summit in Warsaw last year. In addition to boosting mutual cyber security and cyber defense collaboration, strengthening of coordination in the fight against hybrid threats is also encompassed.

About author: Roman Šulc

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