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Another cyber attack like yesterday's GoldenEye could prompt WAR, NATO warns

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NATO have warned another cyber attack like yesterday's could prompt war with the world's armies uniting to crush the hackers.

Computer users around the world were scrambling Wednesday to reboot systems after a tidal wave of ransomware cyber attacks spread from Ukraine and Russia across Europe to the United States and then on to Asia.

The attack, dubbed GoldenEye, appeared very similar but more sophisticated to the WannaCry ransomware which hit more than 200,000 users in more than 150 countries last month and is thought to have originated from a Ukrainian tax software.

Jens Stoltenberg, NATO's chief, warned the alliance must step up its defence against cyber attacks, saying they could potentially trigger their Article 5 mutual defence commitment, meaning all members would join forces to tackle those responsible.

Ahead of a NATO defence ministers meeting in Brussels on Thursday at which cyber-security will be a key talking point, Stoltenberg said: 'The attack in May and this week just underlines the importance of strengthening our cyber defences and that is what we are doing.'

'We exercise more, we share best practices and technology and we also work more and more closely with all allies.'

Stoltenberg recalled NATO leaders had agreed last year a cyber attack could be considered a threat sufficiently serious to warrant invoking the alliance's 'all for one, one for all' security guarantee.

They also made cyber a NATO domain - on a par with the traditional air, sea and land arms to become part of overall alliance planning and resource allocation.

NATO was also helping Ukraine, the country first hit by Tuesday's cyberattack, with its online defences, Stoltenberg said.

Yesterday's attack may have first spread through a rogue update to a piece of Ukrainian accounting software called MEDoc, according to tweets by the country's cyberpolice unit.

It said a rogue update seeded the infection across Ukraine.

On Facebook, MEDoc acknowledged having been hacked.

Emails sent Tuesday to an address posted to the bottom of ransom demands went unreturned.

That might be because the email provider hosting that address, Berlin-based Posteo, pulled the plug on the account before the infection became widely known.

In an email, a Posteo representative said it had blocked the email address immediately after learning that it was associated with ransomware.

The company added that it was in contact with German authorities 'to make sure that we react properly.'

As tech experts continue to fire fight the spread of the virus across Europe and North America, it has emerged they are potentially 'more sophisticated', than the WannaCry attack, the European police agency said Wednesday.

Describing it as 'another serious ransomware attack', Europol director Rob Wainwright said there were 'clear similarities with the WannaCry attack but also indications of a more sophisticated attack capability intended to exploit a range of vulnerabilities'.

In the NATO context, the greatest fear is that another state would attack an ally's networks to undermine key industrial and civil society infrastructure without firing a shot.

In the event, however, it seems non-state actors may be able to cause just as much mayhem.

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Muslim Global: Another cyber attack like yesterday's GoldenEye could prompt WAR, NATO warns
Another cyber attack like yesterday's GoldenEye could prompt WAR, NATO warns
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