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Estonia to host NATO cyber defence exercise

Starting Tuesday, November 26 Estonia will host a major NATO cyber defence exrcise called Cyber Coalition 2013 to test Alliance capabilties for responding large scale cyber attacks targeting information infra-structures of NATO and partner nations.

“Cyber attacks are a daily reality and they are growing in sophistication and complexity. NATO has to keep pace with this evolving threat and Cyber Coalition 2013 will allow us to fully test our systems and procedures to effectively defend our networks – today and in the future,” said Jamie Shea, Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges at NATO Headquarters.

In addition to NATO headquarters and agencies all over Europe, authorities from 27 member nations as well as partners Finland, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland and Ireland take part in the three-day exercise. The European Union and New Zealand will participate with an observer role.

Cyber Coalition 2013 will include around 400 information technology, legal and government experts from across the Alliance and partner nations improving their cyber defence skills. The exercise will be conducted from the Estonian National Defence College training centre in Tartu.

The exercise is based on a fictitious crisis scenario where by all participant nations have to deal with warding off simulated cyber attacks. The scenario requires action, coordination and collaboration from cyber defence specialists and management bodies.

Cyber Coalition 2013 will check NATO and its partners’ technical and operational responsibilities and review the coordination of cooperation between the participants.

As a Host Nation, Estonia will provide exercise infrastructure, training facilities and logistics support. In addition to Ministry of Defence and Estonian Defence Forces, Estonian Information System Authority and NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence based in Tallinn, Estonia will participate in the exercise or its preparation process.

With around 100 participants in Tartu and over 300 in national capitals from 32 nations, Cyber Coalition 2013 is the largest exercise of its kind in terms of participating countries.

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