US, Australia treaty first to address cyber defense

Cyberspace is a little safer today, thanks to an addition to a 60-year-old mutual defense treaty signed between the United States and Australia, reports Reuters.

The Australia, New Zealand, United States Security Treaty (ANZUS), which originally stipulated that the two nations – New Zealand is inactive member of the pact – will back each other if they are physically attacked or if the Pacific region is attacked, was appended Sept. 15 to include attacks in cyberspace.

"I think it's in large measure a recognition of what I've been saying time and time again, which is that cyber is the battlefield of the future," U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Sept. 14 on his way to the meeting to alter ANZUS, which, according to Reuters, is believed to be the first international defense treaty to include cyberattacks, excluding NATO.

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