German Minister Wants Rules to Attack Foreign Hackers

Germany’s interior minister is seeking international rules to allow nations to target and attack foreign hackers

Germany’s interior minister is urging for legislation allowing nations to attack foreign hackers legally to defend the country against a number of cyberthreats including attacks on critical infrastructure.

In an interview with ARD on Sunday, Thomas de Maiziere is pushing his country to draft new legislation to legally enable its security forces to defend and even retaliate against cyberattacks.

He stated:

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.

Ahead of the parliamentary elections, Germany has already raised its cybersecurity alert levels. As LIFARS has previously reported, Arne Schoenbohm, president of Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security (BSA) confirmed that Germany was in a state of “heightened readiness” in mid-March.

German authorities have previously speculated on the possibility of Russian cyberattacks targeting and interfering with the parliamentary elections, due to take place on September 24, 2017. The accusations draw parallels to the hacks of US Democratic National Committee (DNC) in the lead-up to last year’s US presidential elections.

Germany’s domestic intelligence agency BfV, the Federal Office for Information Security and the country’s armed forces have all confirmed that Germany is fending off hundreds of cyberattacks a day that target armed forces, companies and government institutions. Fingers have been pointed at foreign servers based in Russia, Iran, and China. Europe’s largest economy is evidently a ripe target.

In the past, the computers of the German armed forces, the Bundestag parliament, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party have all been targeted by foreign hackers.

In light of the ever-increasing scope of attacks, Germany, through its Bundeswehr (Unified armed forces) inaugurated a new cyber defense unit last week. By July, Germany plans to house a massive staff of 13,500 stationed to defend the country against cyberattacks.

Image credit: Pexels.