Feeds

Germany opens cyberdefence centre to protect water, electricity

Infrastructure the most important target for cybercriminals

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

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. ®

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

More from The Register

next story
DARPA-derived secure microkernel goes open source tomorrow
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.