The Estonian Ministry of Defense has announced plans to modernize Europe’s largest cyber range, established in 2011 to develop methods to combat cyber threats. As explained in the military department of the republic, the facility is being modernized in the interests of NATO, of which the country has been a member since 2004. In turn, NATO headquarters emphasized that it was exclusively about building up defensive cyber potential.
The modernization of the cyber range, which is one of the priority projects of the Estonian military department, will begin this year. It will be funded by NATO, but the exact dates and amounts that are planned to be spent are a military secret. An spokesman for the Estonian Ministry of Defense, Andres Sang, confirmed to Izvestia that Tallinn supports NATO’s efforts to counter cyberthreats, including the deployment of a cyber range and a special cyber defense training center CCDCOE (NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence).
The Director of Armaments of the Ministry of Defense of Estonia, Kusti Salm, told the specialized publication IHS Janes about plans for the development of a cyber range, which, in particular, involve the automation of the processes of “generating defensive and offensive means” of cyber warfare.
The cyber polygon is located in Tartu and has already become the site of cyber coalition – major NATO exercises – four times. The latter took place in early December 2016. During the exercises, the reflection of a massive cyber attack on the computer systems of the countries of the alliance was simulated. The mechanisms for reporting cyber attacks and coordinating response measures were especially carefully worked out. The event brought together several hundred cyber fighters from NATO countries, as well as from Austria, Finland, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland, Japan and Algeria.