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Over 700 experts taking part in Tartu-led NATO cyber defense exercise

Officials participating in the Cyber Coalition 2016 exercise in Tartu.
Officials participating in the Cyber Coalition 2016 exercise in Tartu. Source: (Ministry of Defence)

More than 700 IT and law experts as well as government officials from 25 NATO member states and partner countries are taking part in a cyber defense exercise of NATO's Allied Command Transformation launched in Tartu on Tuesday.

The aim of the Cyber Coalition 2017 exercise, which will last through Friday, is to test the ability of allied states and partner countries to withstand various cyber attacks and rehearse cooperation between cyber experts on both national and international levels, Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) spokespeople in Tallinn told BNS.

The NATO cyber training field built on the capabilities of the EDF will be used to handle cyber incidents.

Lt. Col. Andres Kuusk, commanding officer of the exercise, said that in addition to issues related to computer networks, participants will also have to solve incidents directed against mobile, industrial as well as various military command systems, all while considering legal restrictions.

"The training exercise will definitely be rendered very realistic by the fact that all the member and partner states will be solving these tasks at home," Kuusk added.

In addition to NATO headquarters and institutions, member states, and partners Finland, Sweden, Switzerland and Ireland, representatives from the EU are also taking part in the exercise. Estonia will provide host nation support to the exercise in the form of central command facilities, infrastructure and logistics.

In addition to the EDF, specialists from the Ministry of Defence, the Information System Authority (RIA), the cyber defense unit of the volunteer Estonian Defence League, the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCD COE) and several other institutions of the state are also taking part in the exercise from Estonia.

Cyber Coalition is one of the largest cyber defense exercises in terms of the number of participating nations. 100 of the participants in this year's exercise are located in Tartu, while the remaining 600 are joining from their respective countries.

The first exercise of the series was held in Brussels and mons, Belgium in 2008. In 2009, individual member states were involved as well, in addition to NATO institutions.

This is the fifth time the exercise is being held in Estonia.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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