Der CyberKrieg

A new unit of the German army signals the arrival of the age of cyber war

A New Breed of Soldier?: gutter (CC Licensed)

Just outside the small town of Rheinbach, the German army has begun preparations for a new kind of war. Following on the heels of attacks against the Internet infrastructure of Estonia, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan, as well as a large scale hacking attack by China against a number of European countries, the German army, or Bundeswehr, has established its first unit dedicated solely to cyber war. According to a new article in Der Spiegel, the unit is still considered secret, and will work on both defensive and offensive operations.

From the US PopSci team

But a technologically advanced nation developing a unit for cyber war is not itself unique. Rather, the fact that even Germany plans on developing these capabilities signals that the age of cyber war has finally arrived.

“Other than Britian and France, European countries have not been very out front about their war-making capabilities,” said Martin Libicki, author of Conquest in Cyberspace and a senior policy research at the Rand Corporation. “Since Germany is very careful about these things, the fact that they actually announced that they're doing it may mean it’s not as everyday as it seems.”

Instead, the creation of the secret unit signals that Germany will join the larger shift by many militaries towards acknowledging the importance of cyber war. According to Scott Borg, Director and Chief Economist of the US Cyber Consequences Unit, a non-profit founded by the US government that now independently consults with the government and businesses, about a dozen countries have developed cyber war capabilities.

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Seems like hackers are more likely to be employed for legitimate purposes now! Kinda scary that one country can knock the internet out in another country and keep them blacked out for several days.

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