NATO today issued a statement condemning “destabilising and malicious cyber activities directed against those whose work is critical to the response against the pandemic,” including hospitals, health care services and research institutes.

“These deplorable activities and attacks endanger the lives of our citizens at a time when these critical sectors are needed most, and jeopardise our ability to overcome the pandemic as quickly as possible,” said the alliance of North Atlantic nations. “…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. NATO will continue to adapt to the evolving cyber threat landscape, which is affected by both state and non-state actors.”

John Riggi, former FBI cyber executive and AHA senior advisor for cybersecurity and risk, said, “It is very encouraging to see that NATO has recognized what we have long advocated here at the AHA, that a cyber attack against a hospital, at any time, is not an economic crime, it is a threat to life crime and should be pursued by the authorities as such. We believe these attacks, often conducted by criminals sheltered in adversarial nation states beyond the reach of law enforcement, will only stop once swift and certain consequences are imposed upon them.”

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