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The thinly veiled threats to trigger Article Five over NotPetya continue the time honored tradition of NATO saber rattling




Article Five

The NotPetya attacks swept across Ulkraine and parts of Europe last week, crippling infrastructure and taking down the systems of major companies such as Mearsk. At first many analysts considered it to be another cybercrime attack but as security services have begun to pick apart the events of last week the evidence is mounting that it was something more. Not without just cause, the world began to suspect Russia and NATO has already making begun veiled threats that they may be forced to trigger article five in response to the attacks.  While it is nice that NATO is taking the threat of Cyber Warfare seriously, the threat to trigger article five amounts to little more than NATO saber rattling.

Article Five compels members to act on an attack against an allied state

Article Five is the foundation upon which NATO is built. It enshrines the principle an attack upon one member of the alliance is an attack on every member of the alliance, a concept also known as collective defense. There are NATO forces on permanent standby in order to ensure that this principle is upheld.

Article five

Article Five compels NATO members to come to the defense of any other member under attack

NATO has used article five in on a number of occasions in the past. The Iraq invasion following the 9/11 attacks was technically covered under article five of the NATO treaty. It has also been invoked in the wake of Russia’s interventions in Syria and the annexation of Crimea.

Given how essential collective security is to NATO it should not come as a surprise that some are considering invoking article five in a response to the NotPetya attacks. The problem is that there is no precedent for doing so.

Article Five is designed to help members to respond to an attack but we don’t know who was behind NotPetya

It could be possible to interpret NotPetya as an “armed attack” against a European  NATO member. In so far as NotPetya was designed to cause as much damage as possible and as such could be defined as weaponized. It is far more problematic however, to consider the attack an “act of war”.

NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defense Centre of Excellence (CCD COE) argued in a press release on the 30th of June that NetPetya was backed by state actors or a non-state actor with approval from a state. Their argument holds some water. The NotPetya attacks were relatively sophisticated and were clearly designed to cause chaos rather than rake in cash. This was the very argument put forward by secretary general Jens Stoltenberg on the 28th of June when he attempted to argue that NotPetya could trigger Article Five.

Article Five

Mr Stoltenberg’s arguments that NotPetya justifies triggering Article Five are not entirely without merit

The problem with their argument is that we have no evidence, other than supposition, that any state was involved in the NotPetya attacks. Yes, it is clearly weaponized, yes, we need to take steps in order to combat Cyber Warfare, No, we don’t know who did it. So who is behind attack that NATO is responding to?

NATO will blame Russia, even if there is no evidence that Russia was involved.

The implication in Mr StoltenBerg’s argument is obvious. Russia was behind the attack and NATO needs to band together against the old enemy. The problem with this line of reasoning is that there is absolutely no evidence that Russia is involved.

Article Five

Russia’s actions prove that its administration is a real, credible, threat but that does not give NATO justification to act without evidence

There are suspicions, reasonable suspicions, that Russia at least tacitly approved the attacks. There is even a precedent for Russian Cyber attacks in Ukraine but there is no evidence. Previous NATO actions against Russia, including the recent sanctions, have all been based on concrete evidence of Russian wrong-doing. Whether that be their interventions in Syria or the annexation of Crimea.

NotPetya has no evidence of Russian involvement. The thinly veiled threats to invoke Article Five against Russia in response are bluster, pure and simple. If NATO were to use their alliance in attempt to force further action against Russia over these attacks they’d be risking an escalation without evidence. A fact that Russia would jump on in order to discredit NATO.

Russia is being blamed because NATO is facing a crisis

The alliance is arguably at its weakest point in recent history. The President of the United States has repeatedly undermined the perception that America is committed to the principle of collective security. European nations are increasingly beginning to talk of a European Army. Something that until the events of the past year would have been considered unthinkable.

Mr Trump’s words that “NATO is obsolete” may well prove prophetic. Even if it is a self fulfilling prophesy. In order to prevent the collapse of the alliance, NATO has to keep its members focused upon the threat that Russia poses, rather than the antics of the American President. In order to do this, NATO needs to take every opportunity to highlight Russian aggression, real or imagined.

Article Five

Trump has not held back on his criticism of NATO, much to the concern of America’s allies

The problem with this strategy is that it risks escalating an already tense situation between NATO and Russia, as well as alienating certain members of NATO who are in favor of a more conciliatory approach. In essence NATO saber rattling strengthens the, broadly false, Russian accusation that the West acts hypocritically on the international stage. After all, WannaCry and NotPetya were only possible because the American NSA was hording exploits. This  perceived hypocrisy reduces NATOs capacity to act as a true peacekeeping force and strengthening Russia’s position.

However justified it may be, NATO needs to tone down the harsh rhetoric and focus on action

It is always difficult for a large international body to organize itself, especially one as complex as NATO. It is a testament to the organization’s worth that it has survived this far. Unfortunately NATO finds itself in a difficult position, faced with the elected leader of its largest member, the United States, openly questioning its worth there is a chance that it may collapse.

The CCD COE is right to highlight that Cyber Warfare is a growing threat but simply threatening to further sanction Russia over the cyber attacks will get NATO nowhere. The focus has to be on coordinating international efforts to fight Cyber Warfare through dialogue and cooperation. Even with the likes of Russia, should they choose to participate. Saber Rattling and bluster will get us nowhere, except perhaps a war that nobody will win.

You'll find me wandering around the Science sections mostly, excitedly waving my arms around while jumping up and down about the latest science and tech news. I am also occasionally found in the gaming section, trying to convince everyone else that linux is the future of the computer gaming.


5 Reasons You NEED To Play The Final Fantasy VIII Remaster




Final Fantasy VIII Remastered

After many years of fans begging Square Enix to remaster Final Fantasy VII, they finally listened and did just that. There were numerous excuses as to why the game’s re-release had lagged behind the re-releases of both VII and IX, with the most common excuse being that the game’s original code was lost years ago. However, the company made it happen and the game is finally available for modern audiences to play on modern hardware today. We’re going to give you 5 reasons why you should do just that.

First time available on modern hardware

As we’ve already said, this is the first time that the game is available on modern hardware. While the game originally launched for PS1 back in 1999, it later got a PC port in 2000. That means that is has been a whopping 19 years since a new version of the game has been available for purchase, and that wait was a brutal one. However, it is finally over and you can now play this classic game on PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch along with PC. If the lack of modern hardware support was stopping you from checking out, that excuse just got thrown out the window.

The visuals look better than ever

Thankfully, Square Enix did not just slap this port together quickly and throw it out there to shut everyone up. They did a terrific job of putting on a shiny new coat of paint for the game, with the character models in particular looking much better. While things like environment textures didn’t get quite the same amount of attention, this is nevertheless the best that the game has ever looked. It also helps that the game is simply beautiful from a design standpoint, with the game’s world being gorgeous to behold even though we’re dealing with the hardware limitations of 1999.

Quality of life improvements

While those who played the game 20 years ago will still be getting what is essentially the same experience, Square Enix did add some quality of life improvements to put it more in line with current JRPGs. These changes include the likes of increasing battle speed by 3 times, shutting off random encounters completely and even a cheat to give you max HP and limit breaks. While these may seem minor, these will go a long way to ease some of the tedium that many feel after some particularly long gaming sessions. Max HP and Limit Breaks will also make the incredibly tough Ultima and Omega Weapon boss fights a lot easier to deal with.

Triple Triad

The Final Fantasy series is known for having its fair share of enticing side quests and mini games, but there isn’t a single one that is as addicting as Triple Triad. The game is essentially a card game that is played on a 3×3 grid, and each card has a certain number on the top, bottom, left and right sides. You need to place your cards in a manner that the numbers on your cards are higher than your opponents, and seeing as your card can be attacked from four different sides this can be tricky. You’re able to challenge many different characters to a match throughout the course of the entire game, and doing so comes with plenty of nice rewards that will make your quest easier.

The game is awesome

While our previous points focused on specific elements of the game, this one is a simple fact that has been true since 1999: the game is awesome. Unfortunately, releasing immediately after Final Fantasy VII (a watershed moment for gaming) put it under a very cruel microscope, with many knee jerk reactions simply saying it “isn’t as good as VII.” However, in the years that have passed people have revisited the game, and the consensus has definitely changed. This adventure that Square created is unlike any other in the series, being host to an ambitious and bizarre plot filled with some of the best characters the series has ever seen. If you’ve played the game before then this is the perfect time to experience this masterpiece all over again, and if you haven’t then what are you waiting for?

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10 Huge Games Still Coming In 2019




10 Huge Games Still Coming 2019

2019 has been yet another good year for gaming so far, with several games releasing that will be big contenders for game of the year once the curtain closes. However, despite the year already being more than halfway over, there are still some huge titles on the horizon that are sure to make their own dents on the coming best-of lists. This article will list the 10 biggest games that are still coming in 2019.



A new game from Remedy Entertainment is always highly-anticipated, and Control is no different. The game is an action-adventure game in the same style as Alan Wake or Quantum Break, but with a supernatural twist. Players will control Jesse Faden, who possesses a variety of supernatural abilities like telekinesis, levitation and more. She will be using her abilities in order to defeat an enemy known only as the Hiss, which has corrupted reality. Control launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on August 27th.

Borderlands 3


It has been many years since the last game in the Borderlands series released, but the hiatus is finally coming to an end very soon. Those who have played previous games in the series will feel right at home with this game, as it’s once again a loot-driven FPS. The game will offer more zany characters and a charming and insane world to explore, all while dealing with new antagonists Troy and Tyreen Calypso along with their Children of the Vault cult. Borderlands 3 launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on September 13th, with a Google Stadia port release date being TBA.

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint


Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon series is returning soon with Breakpoint, which will serve as a continuation of previous game Wildlands. The game is set in an open world environment called Aurora, which is a fictional island in the Pacific Ocean. Players will control Lieutenant Colonel Anthony “Nomad” Perryman, who is a special forces operative that was sent to the island to investigate a series of disturbances in the area. Breakpoint launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 4th, with a Google Stadia port coming in November.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare


Each new installment in the Call of Duty series is always huge, but Modern Warfare’s release marks a first for the long-running franchise. It will be the first game in the series that is reimagining of a previous game in the series, taking 2004’s original game and updating its mechanics and themes to match today’s world. The game will still have some of the beats that the first game had, but will also incorporate lots of surprises to make it a fresh experience. Modern Warfare launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 25th.

The Outer Worlds


Obsidian Entertainment’s The Outer Worlds is one that will be very highly-anticipated for fans of Fallout: New Vegas, as this game serves as a sort of spiritual successor to that game. It will be an open world RPG that allows you to explore many unique areas crawling with plenty of deadly foes. Players will also be able to encounter and recruit NPCs as companions that have their own personal missions and stories to take part in. The Outer Worlds launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 25th, with a Switch port also being in the works.

Luigi’s Mansion 3


It seemed very unlikely that Luigi’s Mansion would become a recurring franchise for Nintendo following the original GameCube game, but here we are. Luigi’s Mansion 3 is coming to Switch, which also means it will be the first home console release since the original game back in 2003. This time the game is set in a haunted hotel rather than a mansion, and Luigi has some new tricks up his sleeves to take down all those ghosts. Luigi’s Mansion 3 will launch exclusively for Nintendo Switch on October 31st.

Death Stranding


If you’re looking for the most ambitious (and weirdest) game still coming in 2019, then look no further. Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding has perplexed gamers ever since its announcement, and each new trailer that releases just brings more and more questions to the table. It is Kojima’s first game since breaking up with Konami after the release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phanton Pain (and the cancellation of Silent Hills), and it looks like Kojima has taken the newfound complete creative control to deliver something truly original. Death Stranding launches exclusively for PS4 on November 8th.

Pokemon Sword & Shield


At this point we all know what to expect from a new Pokemon game, and Sword and Shield seems poised to deliver even more cute creatures for players to capture and battle very soon. What sets Sword and Shield apart from its predecessors is that it will be the first home console release for the series, which is saying something considering the series has been around for over 20 years. Pokemon Sword & Shield launches exclusively for Switch on November 15th.

Shenmue III


If you’re a fan of Shenmue then nothing needs to be said for the inclusion of the upcoming third game on this list. Fans of the series have been waiting nearly two decades for a follow-up to the second game, and in just a couple of months that will finally be delivered to them. Brought to life thanks to an extremely successful Kickstarter campaign, the game continues the adventure of protagonist Ryo Hazuki as he hunts down his father’s killer. Shenmue III will launch for PS4 and PC on November 19th.

DOOM Eternal


id Software’s DOOM 2016 was one of the best FPS games to come along in years, so it’s a no-brainer that the follow-up would be on this list. Eternal is set to offer yet another intense FPS campaign for players to plunge into, while also offering a multiplayer component that greatly improves upon the last game’s underwhelming multiplayer mode. There will also be twice as many demon types than there was in the last game, meaning that the chaos level just got that much higher. DOOM Eternal launches for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia and PC on November 22nd.

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5 Most Exciting Announcements From The Xbox E3 2019 Press Conference




Microsoft E3 2019

Microsoft’s Xbox E3 2019 Press Conference has officially come to an end, and with it came plenty of big announcements to get excited about. Some new games were announced, whereas previously-announced games got new footage and/or release dates. In this article we’ve narrowed it all down to the 5 most exciting announcements.

New Xbox “Project Scarlett” Coming Holiday 2020

We’ve known for a while now that a new Xbox was in the works, but now we know when to expect it. Microsoft’s fourth console (which hopefully has a better official name than Xbox One did) will be a big step up from the previous console. Things like much faster load times, an AMD Processor that is four times more powerful than the Xbox One X, 8K Resolution and 120 FPS were all mentioned. A price and exact release date weren’t mentioned. It will also be launching with…

Halo Infinite Coming Holiday 2020, Launching On Both Xbox One and Project Scarlett

The wait for the next Halo game has been longer than ever before for series fans, and the announcement at E3 revealed that the wait will continue. Halo Infinite will not be launching until Holiday 2020, meaning it will have been 5 years since the previous game released with Halo 5. It will also be launching on Xbox One and Project Scarlett, meaning the new console will have a big launch title for fans to get pumped about.

Cyberpunk 2077 Coming April 2020, Stars Keanu Reeves

It’s hard to pick a game that people have been more excited about than Cyberpunk 2077, and after Microsoft’s press conference we’re even more excited. Not only is it coming in April of next year, but Keanu Reeves himself will be playing a “key” role in the game. Everything shown from the game has looked great so far, so hopefully it all pans out and we have another classic from CD Projekt RED come April 2020.

FromSoftware and George R.R. Martin Collaboration Elden Ring Announced

This one was actually leaked prior to the presentation, but Dark Souls developer FromSoftware and Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin are collaborating on a new game. The game is called Elden Ring, and it will be a departure from the developer’s most recent games as it will be open world. Very little information on the game is known at this point, as it is still in the early stages of development.

Phantasy Star Online 2 Is Coming West

It took a very long time, but the popular MMORPG is finally coming west. The game is coming to Xbox One in a free-to-play form in Spring 2020, so the wait won’t be that much longer. “There will be no limitations on game experiences,”says Sega, because they want to “provide all players with a fair and exciting experience.”

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