MUNICH/BERLIN (Own report) – The Bundeswehr University in Munich has convened a high level cyberwarfare conference. Organized by the military academy’s research center’s “Cyber Operational Defense” (CODE), representatives from the Defense, Interior and Foreign Ministries, the Bavarian Regional Office of Criminal Investigation as well as from several leading German arms companies are among the participants. German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) recently announced the establishment of a new branch of the military, the “Cyber and Information Command” (KdoCIR) with a staff of 13,500. Like the Army, Navy, and Air Force, it will be commanded by its own Inspector General. The Bundeswehr has already launched an advertising campaign costing millions, which, according to the Minister, is aimed at recruiting IT specialists (“Nerds”) for military service. The Bundeswehr is explicitly preparing capabilities for cyber attacks – a project that is massively being promoted by NATO. The “neutralization” of enemy air defenses through cyber attacks is also in discussion.
Cyber Arms Race
The Bundeswehr University in Munich has announced that its research center “Cyber Operational Defense” (CODE) has convened a cyberwarfare conference. According to its organizers, “high-level speakers and guests,” including state secretaries of the Interior and Foreign Ministries, as well as Gundbert Scherf, “Commissioner for Strategic Control of National and International Armaments Activities” in the Ministry of Defense and an employee of the Bavarian Regional Office of Criminal Investigation, responsible for the war on crime in cyber space are participating at the conference, which ends today, Thursday. Employees of leading German European companies such as Airbus Defense and Space and the German Telekom are also attending. The list of participants corresponds to CODE’s “holistic” research approach, which – in its own description, “integrates” in its work on cyberwarfare “experts from various scientific disciplines” as well as “from business and government institutions.” To win the “race between the newest attack methods and their defense measures” is the self-proclaimed goal.
Before the First Shot
According to CODE, its research in the IT field is focused on “new systems and architectures for intrusion and extrusion detection” in digital networks, the “analysis of vulnerabilities,” the identification of malware and spyware, as well as globally localizing IP-addresses. Its work is also focused on the development of “autonomous,” “self-protection” computer systems, and aerospace “threat analyses.” “Cyberwarfare is the war of the future,” according to CODE speaker Gabi Dreo Rodosek. Hackers will seek to paralyze the enemy’s weapons, radar and communications systems, as well as the energy supply before the first shot is fired in a conflict.”
Cyberspace Branch of the Military
Rodosek’s view corresponds to that of Germany’s Defense Minister, Ursula von der Leyen (CDU). In late April, the minister issued an “order of the day” for the establishment of a “Cyber and Information Space” Command (KdoCIR), a new branch of the military, on a par with the Army, Navy, and Air Force, with a staff of 13,500, and commanded by its own Inspector General. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.) Last year, in mid September, at a “workshop of experts” that she had organized in collaboration with the Bundeswehr University in Munich and the Federal Association for Infonomics, Telecommunications and New Media (Bitkom) in Berlin, von der Leyen, accordingly, announced that she was setting up a new “branch of the service” under the CIR Command, to consolidate the previously “dispersed responsibilities” within the Bundeswehr into a “consolidated IT architecture.”
The Entire Range of Skills
As the reason for her initiative, von der Leyen made reference to the perceived Russian aggression against Ukraine, in which “cyber attacks” became a “consistent companion of the implementation of conventional operations.” For insurgent groups, warfare in cyberspace additionally opens “an inexpensive and effective possibility to attack the functionality of entire societies and their armed forces.” However, the minister is not merely satisfied with what she sees as “self-defense” of “the Bundeswehr, this huge organization, becoming increasingly digitalized.” The minister explained that because, with cyber attacks, enemies can inflict “serious disruptions and damages” in the “other classical dimensions on land, in the air, at sea and in space,” the troops now require the “entire range of skills.” After all, “surveillance drones” as well as fighter jets are “parallel” on mission in “aerial warfare.”