Lithuania to set up regional cyber security center in Kaunas with US

Lithuania is holding talks with the United States on establishing a regional cyber security center in Kaunas, officials confirmed on Wednesday.

A response from the Pentagon is now expected about joining the new military complex.

Nerijus Aleksiejūnas, adviser to Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaitė who is currently on a visit in the United States, told BNS that Lithuania was ready to take leadership on cyber security matters in the European Union and in cooperation with the US.

"We are doing this by setting up EU cyber response forces and by talking to the US about founding a regional cyber security center in Lithuania," he said.

In Aleksiejūnas' words, the president's visit in Washington D.C. gave a superb opportunity to present Lithuania's achievements on the top level.

Defense Vice-Minister Edvinas Kerza told BNS that the center could develop cyber security instruments, conduct research and hold exercises.

"We submitted investment projects to the US side and expect they will make a financial contribution," said the vice-minister.

In his words, a response from the Pentagon is expected this summer.

Kerza said the center could include cyber security specialists of the US Pennsylvania Guard, adding that the matters would be discussed during a visit to the US in May.

The new center in Lithuania's second city Kaunas is planned to operate as a subdivision of the National Cyber Security Center and could control the EU response cyber forces that the European Union intends to set up at Lithuania's initiative.

The European Union gave a green light to the Lithuanian initiative last December. The forces could help member-states under a cyber attack and would work to prevent such incidents.

Lithuania's intelligence services say the majority of the hostile cyber activities established in Lithuania in 2017 were related with Russia.

Published last month, the traditional report of security threats suggests that most attacks were aimed against Lithuania's state institutions and the energy sector.

In addition to the usual attacks, 2017 featured a new phenomenon – spread of large-scale ransomware, which encrypt data and demand a ransom for access to the data.

At a meeting in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, the presidents of the United States, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia signed a declaration to step up cooperation in cyber security.

Source: BNS
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