NATO is holding a cyber defense exercise in Estonia, during which it plans to practice coordination between allies and military operations in the cyberspace, RIA Novosti reported on November 29, citing the Organization’s press service. “Now in its eleventh year, Cyber Coalition involves around 700 participants from Allies, partners, industry and academia,” NATO said.
The exercise is organized on the basis of the NATO Cyber Operations Center, which develops recommendations for the member states related to activities in the virtual environment.
Meanwhile, Finland, prompted by NATO, has established the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats in Helsinki. And Riga is home to Stratcom, the NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence. Strategic communications is a new concept that includes a range of public diplomacy and public relations tools, from persuasion through psychological operations to use of force.
Lieutenant Colonel Yuri Kotenko (Rt.), editor of the Segodnya.ru news website, argues that “emergence of such centers is the result of the information war launched against Russia. This is a stage in the new type of war, a hybrid war. Some specialists believe that we have now entered a period of a seemingly low-intensity third world war, with local hostilities breaking out from time to time in different parts of the world.
That’s why I want to point out that almost all countries surrounding Russia, some of them former Soviet republics, have established NATO logistics centers, working on scenarios of deployment of additional US troops and allied forces in case of an escalation.
Moreover, centers for hybrid war and cyber operations are being set up, employing local and American experts on IT, hacker attacks and security breaches. And all these initiatives target Russia in an attempt to counter its information influence.”
“This poses a direct threat to Russia’s security,” the expert emphasizes. “Russian leaders – the President and representatives of the Defense Ministry, including the Minister, have said that we need to respond to these developments. Russia needs to protect itself and its information communications from any external invasion.
Provocations against Russia are being staged, and that is why we are witnessing certain disruptions in the functioning of even major Russian operators and providers.
The latest example of the impact such technologies can have on Russia’s security was yesterday’s mass bombing scare, when more than ten shopping malls in Moscow received planted bomb warnings.
According to information from the Federal Security Service and other agencies, these messages could have come from Ukraine. IT telephony makes this possible. And this is nothing but an attempt to destabilize the situation in Moscow and Russia.”