Flags flutter next to the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Exellence in Tallinn, Estonia November 29, 2017. (REUTERS/Ints Kalnins)
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A group of NATO allies are considering a more muscular response to state-sponsored computer hackers that could involve using cyber attacks to bring down enemy networks, officials said.Estonia, which was hit by one of the world's first large-scale cyber attacks a decade ago, aims to open a cyber command next year and make it fully operational by 2020, with offensive cyber weapons.NATO held its biggest ever cyber exercise this week at a military base in southern Estonia, testing 25 NATO allies against a fictional state-sponsored hacker group seeking to infiltrate NATO air defences and communication networks.NATO's commanders will not develop cyber weapons but allied defence ministers agreed last month that NATO commanders can request nations to allow them use of their weapons if requested.
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