NATO plans cyber strike force

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NATO plans cyber strike force
An opening address at a NATO cyber security meeting this year.

Capabilities include offence, defence and intelligence.

NATO has agreed on a plan to put together a special task force to detect and defend against online attacks.

The 'Cyber Red Team' would bolster NATO's cyber defence capabilities, according to the AFP news agency.

The task force coincides with NATO plans to strengthen online defences between its 28 member nations, including the creation of a 'cyber shield'  and forge codes of conduct for warfare engagement.

"NATO is planning to establish the Cyber Red Team ... that would provide a significant contribution to the improvement of NATO's cyber defence capability," NATO senior scientist Luc Dandurand said at a security conference in Europe overnight.

Dandurand said force could launch offensive strikes against targets including Denial of Service attacks, participate in cyber defence exercises and gather vulnerability intelligence.

But he said boundaries would need to be set to "legitimise" the actions of the force.

The Australian Government had joined NATO allies in its support of similar cyber defence initiatives in recent months, and will sign onto the Council of Europe Convention on Cyber Crime.

The UK and US have mulled capabilities that would permit counter-attacks against offensive strikes targeting national critical infrastructure.

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