02:02 GMT +322 April 2018
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    Germany to Roll Out 'Cyber Army' Next Week

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    The German Defense Ministry will launch in April a Cyber- and Information Space Command that will take over the army’s cybersecurity capabilities, local media reported Thursday.

    BERLIN (Sputnik) — Defense Minister Ursula Von der Leyen will introduce the new department during a presentation at its headquarters in Bonn, the DPA news agency said.

    The Command will comprise 13,500 both military and civilian employees. It will be tasked with protecting military networks but also digitally-controlled weapons.

    There has been a marked rise in cyberattacks on Bundeswehr networks since the start of this year. In the first nine weeks, the ministry detected over 280,000 attempts to breach its cyber defenses.

    It was also reported that Germany's Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) is on a high alert amid potential cyberattacks on political institutions ahead of 2017 parliamentary elections.

    Earlier this week, following political row between Germany, the Netherlands and Turkey over Turkish rally bans, high-profile German and Dutch Twitter accounts, as well as some websites were attacked by unidentified hackers, who expressed their support for Turkish government. The group published pictures of swastika and hashtags, which read "NaziGermany" and #NaziHolland and videos with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's speeches.

    German authorities also fear possible Russian cyberattacks aimed at interfering in German parliamentary elections that are due to take place on September 24, 2017. Russian officials have denied all allegations, saying Moscow does not interfere in other states' domestic matters.

    Related:

    France, Germany, Netherlands Under Threat of Cyberattacks - EU Commissioner
    Germany Wary of Russian Cyberattacks Despite Lack of Proof - Intelligence Chief
    German Officer Responsible for Elections Getting Ready to Counter Cyberattacks
    Tags:
    cyber army, Germany's Federal Office for Information Security, Ursula von der Leyen, Germany
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