Less than 6 weeks after Russia announced the formation of their newest military wing, an informational Warfare unit, it appears as though Germany is now prepared to follow suit. Officially called the “Cyber and Informational Space Command (CIR),” the organization comes direct response to the growing number of cyber threats currently facing Germany, NATO and the world at large.
According to the new commander, Lieutenant General Ludwig Leinhos, the main task of CIR will be to “operate and protect the military’s own IT infrastructure and computer-assisted weapons systems, as well as surveillance of online threats.” Leinhos continues, “the centre would also develop and war-game offensive capabilities,” going on to explain that “in order to be able to defend yourself, you have to know the options for attack.”
As for what finally pushed Germany to establish such a unit, according to statistics released by Reuters, Germany has suffered more than 284,000 different cyber attacks in the first 9 weeks of 2017 alone. This also adds to a growing trend of attacks which have been absorbed by the country over the last several years. Dating back to 2014, according to statistics from NATO also referenced by Reuters, Germany has reportedly seen the number of cyber attacks on the country increase “five-fold.”
As it stands today, CIR currently comprises of just 260 IT personnel, but Germany plans on increasing this figure to 13,500 by July of 2017. By the year 2021, the German military plans to establish 14,500 full-time positions, 1,500 of which are expected to be added from the private sector as contractors. According to analysis by Pierluigi Paganini of Security Affairs, “The operations conducted by the Cyber and Information Space (CIR) Command would have to be approved by the German Parliament,” meaning that “cyber operations” will be considered the equivalent of “military missions.”
The correlation of Germany’s decision to the activities of Russia can not be understated, Reuters even addresses this multiple times in their original reporting. While Germany’s decision to establish a new cyber wing is getting a lot of publicity today, almost no one in the western media has been covering Russia’s meddling in German politics over the course of the last several years.
You see, it is not just the United States which has been suffering from a “fake news crisis” lately and as I have pointed out multiple times on social media, the origins of the US’s fake news problem actually began in Germany around 2015.
To this effect, in an article released by Security Affairs last month, NATO and German officials announced their concern over the proliferation of fake news currently being spread by Russian intelligence, adding that they expected more of it in the future. The announcement came in response to false reports of rape at the hand of German soldiers in Lituania, which traced back to the Kremlin, but the problem goes back much further than 2017.
If you have noticed the emergence “alt-right” here in America in 2016, you might have noticed how it has ties to political extremism/destabilization and has been extremely critical of countries like Sweden and most importantly Germany, for their acceptance of Muslim refugees and liberal political policies. But the before the message of the alt-right really started to spread here in America, it started in Germany around 2015 and happened to lead to the loss of approval rating and political stature of Angela Merkel in Berlin as we now observe today.
Tying in the emergence of Boris Johnson in the UK, the sudden popularity of Donald Trump in the USA and Marin Le Penn in France in 2016, it all coincides with an up-swell in conservative, anti-immigration online movements which happened to occur all around the world at exactly the same time. Movements which have been surrounded in controversy and are often times directly linked to the spread of “fake news” material.
Now, as we move forward in 2017 and are starting to see a number of intelligence reports coming out confirming Russian interference in several countries elections over the same time, including the United States and Germany, it is not exactly a stretch to say that some of these bizarre online political movements may all have links to a common actor – say Russia.
Categories: Tech Stuff