Out-Law / Your Daily Need-To-Know

Major cyber attacks launched on a member of NATO could be met with a joint response by all members of NATO in future under plans being considered at a NATO conference in Wales.

NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, is a 28-member strong alliance made up of countries such as the UK, US, France, Germany and Canada. It exists to safeguard security and freedom of its members via political and military means.

Leaders of NATO countries are meeting today and tomorrow in Newport, Wales to discuss a range of issues, including cyber warfare.

According to a report by the New York Times earlier this week, the leaders were set to ratify an agreement that would see a cyber attack launched on one NATO country recognised as being an attack on all NATO members.

Under Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, NATO members consider "an armed attack" on at least one of its members to be "an attack against them all". The agreement states that where agreement has been reached that an armed attack has occurred, each NATO country "will assist the party or parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area".