The German military is apparently quietly setting up a cyber warfare unit, which is due to be fully operational by next year.
According to the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel, the new unit is being created within the the seven-year-old strategic reconnaissance command. The command (KdoStratAufkl) also is in charge of electronic warfare activities and space-based surveillance. In that capacity, it is the main operator for the German SAR-Lupe radar satellite system.
The strategic reconnaissance operation has been gradually gaining size within the German military establishment. The command includes about 7,000 employees, of which 6,300 are from the military.
The Cyber warfare activity would include 76 staff based near Bonn, says the German publication.
European militaries have been increasingly showing interest in cyber warfare, not least because of the cyber attack launched against Estonia in 2007. France also has signaled it wants to step up its activity in this area. Germany’s government IT infrastructure also came under attack that year. The Estonian attacks were traced back to Russia, while the ones against German targets emanated from China.
Der Spiegel says the German cyber warriors are being trained to take down or manipulate an adversary's networks.