Several NATO members are contemplating a change in the alliance's doctrine regarding how it might react to future cyber-attacks, possibly enabling a more robust response.
Reuters is reporting United States, Britain, Germany, Norway, Spain, Denmark and the Netherlands are working on new guidelines that would direct their militaries when a cyber-counterattack would be justified and which attack methods would be allowed. The scheduled delivery date for these procedures is early 2019.
“There's a change in the (NATO) mindset to accept that computers, just like aircraft and ships, have an offensive capability,” Reuter's quoted US Navy Commander Michael Widmann at the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, a research center affiliated to NATO that is coordinating doctrine writing.
The end result of the study and new attack profile would be to give commanders in the field an additional option when dealing with an enemy. Wildmann noted that if an air strike or naval units are needed, NATO has such assets. Now this will hold true in the realm of cyber.