NATO will establish a new cyberwarfare center in Estonia to protect its member states against cyberattacks from states and terrorists. The Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence will begin operations in August.
The centre will run research and training on cyber-warfare. Half of its staff of 30 will be specialists from the sponsoring countries, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Spain. The US has agreed to send an observer.
By locating the center in Estonia, NATO acknowledges that one of its newest member states has the technological know-how and experience to lead the effort against cyberwarfare. The small Baltic nation, known for its Internet savvy, had originally called for the creation of a cyberwarfare defense center back in 2003.
Alliance members didn't see the need for one until last spring when Estonia suffered a crippling denial-of-service attack against its Internet infrastructure, Major Raul Rikk, who will head the center, told the Guardian. The attack was initially blamed on Russia but it was later discovered to be the work of a 20-year-old native, angry that his country removed a WW-II bronze memorial to Soviet soldiers.