Germany launches new military unit to combat cyberattacks

AP News
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Posted: Apr 05, 2017 9:29 AM

BERLIN (AP) — Germany has launched a new military unit dedicated to thwarting cyberattacks and responding if necessary.

Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said Wednesday the unit, which will be fully operational by 2021, will bring together information technology experts from other branches of the military, and also include new specialists. In all, it's envisioned to have some 13,500 soldiers and civilians by summer.

The unit is being put under command of a lieutenant general with an initial 260 troops under his command.

The Defense Ministry says the military experiences thousands of cyberattacks of varying degrees of severity on its servers every day.

Von der Leyen told troops at the official launch in Bonn when "an attack endangers the functioning and operational capacity of the armed forces, we can defend ourselves offensively."