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NATO could respond to a powerful cyber-assault with conventional weapons, the military alliance’s secretary-general told German media. NATO member states are expected to declare cyberspace a warfare domain, along with air, land, sea and space.

“A severe cyber-attack may be classified as a case for the alliance. Then NATO can and must react,” Jens Stoltenberg said in an interview to Germany’s Bild newspaper on Thursday. “How, that will depend on the severity of the attack,” he said.

Stoltenberg pointed out that the alliance faces a complex of threats with tendency to expand, so NATO member states have made a decision to regard cyber-attacks just like any other threat.

In early June, the German military’s top brass announced that all 28 NATO member states would likely agree to declare cyberspace an operational warzone, during the Warsaw summit, to be held in the Polish capital on July 8-9.

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