December 28, 2010 / 2:07 PM / 7 years ago

Germany plans cyber-warfare defense center

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany will create a new cyber-warfare defense center next year to fight off espionage attacks, the German interior ministry said.

<p>People use their computers in the lounge area of the 25th Chaos Communication Congress (25C3) in Berlin, December 27, 2010. REUTERS/Thomas Peter</p>

“We plan to create a so-called ‘National Cyber-Defense Center’ in 2011,” a spokesman told reporters on Monday. “It will work by bundling existing know-how in the area of cyber defense.”

As computer systems become more important to control essential services, from power grids to banking, computerized attacks are seen as becoming as important a part of nations’ arsenals as conventional or nuclear weaponry.

Britain announced a 650-million-pound ($1 billion) program last month, labeling cyber security a key priority despite broad cuts to government spending, including on defense.

Several Western security experts believe one computer worm, known as Stuxnet, may have been created by a national counterterrorism authority intent on crippling Iran’s nuclear program by sabotaging the industrial control system at its atomic energy plant in Bushehr.

Reporting by Rene Wagner and Christiaan Hetzner

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