New cyber command force launched in Germany

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Lt. Gen. Ludwig Leinhos (left) will lead the new German cyber command. (Photo Credit: Schrief/German Ministry of Defence)

Cyberattacks — attacking critical networks, enacting detailed sabotage and espionage online — are thought to be the start future wars. To combat this, Germany’s armed forced launched a cyber command that possesses a status equivalent to the country’s army, navy and air force, according to Phys.org.

The Bundeswehr’s new Cyber and Information Space (CIR) Command will be based in Bonn and will begin with 260 IT specialists. However, the plan is to increase the number of specialist extensively, ideally having 13,500 civilian and military personnel by July 2017.

“We are in a constant race between the development of attack options and defensive capabilities,” Lieutenant General Ludwig Leinhos, the new commander of the cyber force, explained.

The main tasks of this new force will be to operate and protect the IT infrastructure and weapons systems while also surveilling for threats online. At the same time, the center will also be creating and simulating (through war-games) offensive capabilities to understand the different “options for attack,” Leinhos said.

Any full-scale cyberattack abroad would need to go through the same process as any other military mission, needing the German parliament’s approval.