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Germany Launches Cyber Defense Center

The text of a Deutsche Welle article on the German Cyber Defense Center has some funny logic.

Note the name of the center, for example, versus the title.

Germany declares war on hackers with new cyber defense center

I propose they rename themselves the Cyber Offensive Center. No, that acronym doesn’t work. They could go with the Cyber War Center…or, wait, maybe a Cyber Lulz Center. If you are going to declare war and go on the offensive, you might as well get a few laughs in. What’s the German translation for lulz?

Seriously, though, the German news site says NATO top threats list includes terrorism, WMD and cyber attack. Never mind the differentiation and overlap of those terms (terrorism could be done with WMD and/or cyber attack). Note the absence of cruise-missiles on the list. Then read this:

NATO now counts cyber attacks as one of the greatest security threats in the modern world – alongside terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. The so-called Stuxnet worm, which targeted industrial software in the summer of 2010, infected computers controlling uranium enrichment plants in Iran. That showed the world that highly-developed viruses can penetrate enemy infrastructure as if they were digital cruise missiles.

If Stuxnet only has as much risk as a cruise missile does it drop off the top threats list? I think such a description is counter-productive. In other words, is your industry preparing for attack by cruise missiles? On a similar note, has anyone said viruses would be unable to penetrate critical infrastructure? As far as I can recall (at least into the early 1990s) it was widely known that worms could spread by removable storage and enemy infrastructure was susceptible to infiltration.

Iran’s uranium enrichment program at Busheir was built with extra resiliency in the 9,000 centrifuges because of an anticipated high-failure rate. The latest reports I found say production impact of Stuxnet was negligible, although clearly the surveillance aspect of it has had a psychological/political impact…even on Germany.

Posted in Security.

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