German Minister Seeks Rules to Combat Hackers on Foreign Soil

    Apr 25, 2017

    According to, Germany is hoping to firm up its cyber defense after the interior minister called for rules that let nations attack foreign hackers who target critical infrastructure.

    Germany is assessing whether it should draft legislation to ensure its security forces are legally cleared to defend the country against cyber attacks that have such targets as the electrical grid, according to Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere.

    “We need international rules, but also in Germany, that besides protection and defense enable the tracing and also –  if needed – the elimination of a foreign server,” he said in an interview. A decision on new rules will have to be made soon after the federal elections, he said.

    Government institutions, armed forces, and companies are all confronting hundreds of cyber attacks a day, many from foreign servers in Russia, China, and Iran, according to the armed forces, the Federal Office for Information Security, and a German domestic intelligence agency.

    Concern in Germany is mounting that Russia may try to destabilize the German government and interfere with the Sept. 24 federal elections. Germany’s armed forces launched a new cyber defense unit last week that will soon have a staff of 13,500 to defend against online attacks.


    © 2017, ARMA International