NATO has issued a statement condemning cyber-attacks perpetrated in the midst of the ongoing global health pandemic.
In particular, the organization slammed cyber-criminals who chose to target essential healthcare services, including hospitals caring for those infected with COVID-19 and medical research institutes trying desperately to find a cure for the novel coronavirus.
The statement was issued yesterday in English, French, and Russian. In it, NATO said: "We condemn destabilizing and malicious cyber activities directed against those whose work is critical to the response against the pandemic, including healthcare services, hospitals and research institutes."
The organization described such digital onslaughts as life-threateningly dangerous and also injurious to global efforts to succeed against a virus that has infected 6.29 million people around the world and killed over 380,000.
"These deplorable activities and attacks endanger the lives of our citizens at a time when these critical sectors are needed most and jeopardize our ability to overcome the pandemic as quickly as possible," stated NATO.
Included in the statement was a message of support to those who had been impacted by cyber-assaults.
"We stand in solidarity with those who have been affected by malicious cyber activities and remain ready to assist Allies, including by continuing to share information, as they respond to cyber incidents that affect essential services," said NATO.
"In line with their national responsibilities and competences, Allies are committed to protecting their critical infrastructure, building resilience and bolstering cyber defenses, including through full implementation of NATO’s Cyber Defense Pledge."
NATO said that cyber defense was part of its core task of collective defense as stated at the 2018 Summit in Brussels and action would be taken by the organization against cyber-criminals.
"Reaffirming NATO’s defensive mandate, we are determined to employ the full range of capabilities, including cyber, to deter, defend against and counter the full spectrum of cyber threats," stated the organization.
"NATO will continue to adapt to the evolving cyber threat landscape, which is affected by both state and non-state actors, including state-sponsored."
The statement concluded with a reminder that "we all stand to benefit from a rules-based, predictable, open, free, and secure cyberspace."
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