Main Menu

Web Wars: German Army to Enter Global Cyberwar

The Bundeswehr is planning to unfold its “offensive capabilities” in cyber warfare. A new strategy paper of the Ministry of Defense considers the Internet as a potential war zone.

The Bundeswehr is facing a major change of its strategy in cyber warfare. In addition to defense against cyberattacks, the German army is due to perform attacks on foreign states, DWN wrote, referring to a strategy paper of the German Ministry of Defense.

The strategy guidelines serve as a basis for the new White Paper of the Bundeswehr, which will be released in 2016 and is designed to define the German security policy orientation.

According to the guidelines, Germany has to play a decisive role in cyberspace. Internet and other communication platforms are defined as a new “operating room” of the Bundeswehr besides classical threats on land as well as in the air, sea and space.

“The spectrum of threats ranges from cyber espionage and sabotage to open cyber conflict,” German Minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen said.

The more advanced technologies a country has, the greater the security threat is, she added.

Germany faces increasing cyberattacks on its infrastructure. Therefore, according to German officials, the Bundeswehr should be responsible for “the defense against cyberattacks, which represent an armed attack on Germany” in the future.

The use of the armed forces can be allowed in the event of attacks on critical infrastructure, such as communications or transport networks, as reported by Spiegel.

However, the plans of the German Minister of Defense go even further. The Bundeswehr is expected to be able to carry out “offensive cyberattacks inside the country and abroad”. For instance, it is expected to be able to “reduce and, possibly, even eliminate” the access of the enemy to mobile networks and Internet.

In order to fulfill this new role, the IT resources should be increased and centralized, German officials argue.