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EU Launches First Exercise In Countering Cyberattacks, Hybrid Warfare Threats

A laptop screen displays a message after it was infected with ransomware during a worldwide cyberattack in June.

BRUSSELS -- The European Union on September 28 is holding the first exercise to test its crisis response in countering cyberattacks and hybrid warfare threats.

The exercise, named PACE17, will last for one week and will involve a simulated hybrid warfare threat against the EU and its member states with the goal of assessing how quickly the bloc can react to such an event and how coordinated the countries and the institutions are.

NATO will hold a separate exercise next month on October 4-11.

The two exercises will be conducted in "a parallel but coordinated manner, ensured by EU-NATO staff-to-staff coordination and participation throughout both exercises" with the aim of synchronizing the crisis response activities between the two organizations, according to an EU statement.

The EU has in recent months stepped up measures against cyberattacks. It has proposed establishing a new, beefed-up European cybersecurity agency after it emerged that more than 4,000 ransomware attacks occurred daily in the bloc last year, and 80 percent of European companies experienced at least one cybersecurity incident.

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