NATO troops stationed in the Baltic states and Poland face hybrid challenges and sophisticated attacks to undermine them, a NATO military official told The Defense Post on Wednesday.
“We have seen attempts to undermine troops deployed in this part of our Alliance, but our personnel are well-prepared to perform the mission at hand, despite hybrid challenges,” the official said. “NATO’s presence in the eastern part of the Alliance is defensive in nature, and we are taking all necessary measures to protect the mission, including our networks.”
The official noted that military personnel are trained to be vigilant – including online – on a daily basis.
“This kind of attacks are often complex and sophisticated, therefore it’s not always possible to determine all factors in an unequivocal way,” the official said, adding that information about specific tactics, techniques, and procedures is classified for operational security reasons.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that Russia carried out an operation targeting the personal smartphones of soldiers deployed to the region under NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence program.
The report suggested that Russia may be trying to monitor troop levels in the region, gain operational information and intimidate soldiers. Some Western defense officials who spoke to the outlet said, however, that the campaign resulted in little to no damage.
The Russian mission to NATO did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
— Oana Lungescu (@NATOpress) March 13, 2017