Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Off To War Again??

Germany Ready for Cyber War

The German Army held its first cyber warfare military exercise open to the public. Some of the tech hacks were there to watch the process. The scenario was the following: Red forces overran part of a fictional Blue continent in the Atlantic, forcing the UN Security Council to sanction a military intervention. The German Parliament agreed on the deployment of Bundeswehr forces, which rapidly set about dismantling the enemy tech infrastructure.
The cyber attack was started by the Strategic Reconnaissance Command of the Bundeswehr. The latter includes the Computer Network Operations team of 60 hackers. Actually, the very existence of the cyber war unit wasn’t made public until 2012, and it is still unknown how many cyber soldiers the country really has on call. Despite the fact that there are thousands of women serving in the Bundeswehr, the 60-strong unit in the exercise consisted of geeky men only.

Local press was allowed to interview the troops after the exercise was over, but no photos were allowed. One of the soldiers claimed all the weapons they used in the attack were freely available online. He confirmed they used ordinary, commercially available software. The hackers employed a range of instruments having odd names, such as “John the Ripper” and “hostenum” in order to wreak havoc on the Red intranet.

Computer Network Operations officers revealed that their deployment is strictly regulated and they could only go into action after Bundestag approval. They also admitted that they follow the same rules of deployment as fighter squadrons or tank battalions. Therefore, the hackers need a clear mandate to spring into action.

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