Feeds

Germany opens cyberdefence centre to protect water, electricity

Infrastructure the most important target for cybercriminals

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Germany today launched its new cyberdefence facility in Bonn, dedicated to defending the country's critical infrastructure, including its electricity and water supply. The facility is believed to be the first of its kind in Europe.

The Cyber-Abwehrzentrum in Bonn is located in a securely fenced office block of the Federal Office for Information Security. The centre is headed up by Michael Hange and members of the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BKK) and the Federal Office for Protection of the Constitution (BFV). Other agencies such as the Bundespolizei (Federal Police), the Federal Intelligence Service and Bundeswehr (German Armed Forces) will join the centre in July.

Its new role – providing cybersecurity to key infrastructure on German soil – was already established a couple of months ago, when at a Security Conference in Munich German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared cyberwarfare "as dangerous as conventional war".

According to German interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, there is a cyberattack every two seconds on Germany. Those attacks have become more sophisticated and more targeted in recent years. De Maiziere said attacks on the German government network took place four or five times a day, and the attacks often originated from foreign sources.

Interior Ministry spokesperson Stefan Paris recently said that online espionage in Germany is also on the rise. "Germany is a very high-tech country with considerable experience and know-how, so others will naturally try to get hold of this knowledge – China is playing a large role in this."

NATO already considers cyberattacks among the greatest security threats to the developed world. One recent example was the Stuxnet worm, which targeted industrial software and infected computers controlling uranium enrichment plants in Iran.

Estonia is another country that is ramping up its cyberdefence strategy. The country's entire internet system in 2007 had to be switched off due to a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, causing large amounts of public services to grind to a halt. Estonia has recently incorporated the Cyber Defense League, a volunteer force, into its military structure. The country is also the home of NATO's Center of Excellence in Cyber Defense.

Austria is building a substantial cyberdefence structure consisting of 1,600 soldiers as well as several secret service departments.

The Netherlands' Defence minister Hans Hillen recently said that the Dutch armed forces need to spend part of their budget for 2011 on cyberwarfare-related activities, although a national cybersecurity centre still needs to be established.

Last year, the UK government highlighted cybersecurity as one of the Tier 1 security risks facing the UK. The government said it planned to spend £650m on improved cybersecurity. The US, meanwhile, opened up its own Cyber Command as part of the military in 2009.

France is now considering combining the efforts of all of its government agencies that have thus far been tasked with identifying and combating cyberattacks into a specialised unit. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
One HUNDRED FAMOUS LADIES exposed NUDE online
Celebrity women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
Rubbish WPS config sees WiFi router keys popped in seconds
Another day, another way in to your home router
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.