DB - Digital Battlespace

Germany to let NATO use its cyber skills

14th February 2019 - 16:38 GMT | by ​Agence France-Presse in Brussels

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Germany is to join the ranks of NATO countries making its cyber warfare skills available to the alliance to help fight hacking and electronic warfare, officials told AFP on 14 February 2019.

NATO has designated cyberspace as a conflict domain alongside land, sea and air and says electronic attacks by the likes of Russia and China - but also criminals and so-called ‘hacktivists’ - are becoming more frequent and more destructive.

German officials used a meeting of defence ministers in Brussels on 14 February 2019 to tell allies that Berlin would make its cyber capabilities available, including offensive elements, sources said. The US, Britain, Denmark, the Netherlands and Estonia have all made their offensive cyber weapons available to the alliance - and announced it publicly - in the expectation that the threat of counterattack may deter would-be aggressors.

As with other military resources such as tanks and jets, alliance members retain control over their cyber capabilities and make them available to NATO when requested for missions and operations. Targets for offensive cyber tactics can include anything with an Internet connection, including computers and smartphones, right up to devices which control key machinery at power plants and transport networks.

In a sign of the growing importance NATO countries attach to cyber, this year Britain said it would spend £65 million ($83 million) on offensive capabilities.

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