Report claims German armed forces setting up cyberwar unit
The German armed forces are currently setting up a cyberwar unit, which will both protect the German IT infrastructure from attacks and carry out reconnaissance missions and interventions on foreign computers and "enemy networks." According to information from the Spiegel magazine, the squad consist of several dozen IT graduates from the two Universities of the Armed Forces, and is stationed in Rheinbach near Bonn. According to the Hamburg news magazine, the hacker squads are currently still in training, but are expected to be ready for deployment in the coming year.
The top secret unit is reported to be assigned to Strategic Reconnaissance Command and is headed by Brigadier General Friedrich Wilhelm Kriesel. The armed forces have thus far declined to comment on the report. The German constitution forbids the German Armed Forces from undertaking deployments within Germany, although there have long been plans to revoke this ban.
There is some disagreement among experts around the world as to whether the term cyberwar is really appropriate, since such a conflict results in no deaths or injuries, but there does appear to be general agreement that defence against this kind of threat is properly the role of a country's armed forces. Although the cyber-attacks on Estonia are in retrospect not viewed as a 'war', every country which operates a substantial IT infrastructure has since taken the threat of cyber-attacks very seriously.
- Army creates secret cyberwar unit, Der Speigel report (in German)