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German Bundeswehr Recruiting Hackers 156

Posted by timothy
from the blinkenlights-brauch'-das-fingerpoken dept.
bad_alloc writes "Heise.de tells us about the German Bundeswehr's idea of recruiting hackers in order to 'penetrate, manipulate and damage hostile networks.' (Note: The following passage has been translated from German into English: 'The Regiment is stationed in Rheinbach, near Bonn, and consists of several dozen graduates from Bundeswehr universities. They're training at the moment, but the 'hackers in uniforms' are supposed to be operational by next year. This regiment officially belongs to the "Kommando Strategische Aufklärung" (strategic reconnaissance) and is commanded by Brigadier General Friedrich Wilhelm Kriesel. The Bundeswehr has not said anything to this regiment yet.' You can find the full article in German."
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German Bundeswehr Recruiting Hackers

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  • by Shadow Wrought (586631) * <shadow.wroughtNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday February 09, 2009 @12:52AM (#26780113) Homepage Journal
    So why does a beer company need Hacker Kommandos? Is it because they're Beglium now?
  • Is this really news? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by blool (798681) on Monday February 09, 2009 @12:53AM (#26780119)
    I would think most modern nations employ hackers these days. I'm sure much of America's hacking talent make a tidy salary working for the NSA.
    • by commodoresloat (172735) on Monday February 09, 2009 @01:56AM (#26780435)

      "And even if the cyber attack on Estonia in retrospect, not as a "war" browsed meanwhile shall any State which is a substantial electronic IT infrastructure operates, potential threats posed by cyber attacks seriously."

      • by raffnix (1472681)
        The actual source of the heise.de article seems to be an article on the website of the German magazine "Der Spiegel" which can be found here: http://www.spiegel.de/netzwelt/tech/0,1518,606096,00.html [spiegel.de] It seems that those guys are actually mostly graduates from Bundeswehr universities meaning the "recruiting hackers" theme is not really correct. (remarking this as a native German speaker). The rest of the article is rather uniformative though..
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by maxwell demon (590494)

          The rest of the article is rather uniformative though..

          (emphasize by me)

          Well, it's about military, so uniforms shouldn't be a surprise ...

  • IT Work (Score:5, Interesting)

    by snowgirl (978879) * on Monday February 09, 2009 @12:58AM (#26780149) Journal

    The first sentence of TFA says that "not only will it do the security of IT systems but also carry out..."

    Why does everyone focus immediately on the "black hat" side of the story, and neglect that the group is supposed to do BOTH sides, which in some ways, is a good aspect of ANY security team... just hopefully, your security team follows ethics.

    And I imagine that the Bundeswehr is going to follow ethics as well, "no hacking friendly networks......... overtly".

    • by Dreen (1349993)

      Same reason why exorcists are taboo topic regarding the church

    • Actually, the constitutional safeguards still work in Germany, so it will likely be more like "no hacking anyone else's networks ever, unless we've already properly declared war and the bureaucracy is done approving the paperwork." (At which point the war is probably over anyway.)

      • The constitutional safeguards still work? How exactly would the limits on the actions of the Bundeswehr be any different from the secret "Federal trojan" and other unauthorized methods which have been employed without constitutional authorization? Safeguards are a nice concept but you need people that are actually afraid of getting caught in them.
        • Re:Wait what? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Moraelin (679338) on Monday February 09, 2009 @04:48AM (#26781093) Journal

          Exactly when has the "Bundestrojaner" been actually used without authorization? No, seriously, I'm curious now.

          And how's it any worse than, say, the USA? You can find plenty of cases where the FBI planted a trojan or a keylogger on a _suspect's_ computer, which is all that the "Bundestrojaner" is supposed to do. The difference is that in Germany there has been a whole debate about it and it's been shot down on constitutional and privacy grounds repeatedly, while in the USA nobody even bothered wondering much about it.

          Let me repeat: the "Bundestrojaner" is supposed to only be used with a court mandate, only for a limited time, and only on the computers of people suspected of terror activities and the like. Plus a court is supposed to establish (as per the german supreme court decision) that the use does not pose any danger to a person's other rights, among which their freedom. It'll be interesting to see if they can use it at all then, but at any rate you can't use it, say, to intimidate your opponents.

          But seriously, how's that any worse than what the rest of the world already does? It seems to me like the USA just shipped such suspects to Gitmo for some waterboarding. I'll take a court-approved keylogger instead if I'm ever suspected of anything, thank you very much.

          And then you have cases like the NSA spying on its citizens without any court approval or legal mandate.

          Basically if you think that a law which sets clear limits is actually worse than no law, well, you're naive.

          • by meist3r (1061628)
            So just because the press hasn't reported on it and the authorities deny it's existence no government agency has ever used illegal wiretaps or spy software to gather information. And you call me naive?

            The Bundeswehr Tornado Bomber is usually only used with a mandate as well and yet these things flew recon missions during the G8 summit. So what? Let's just agree that this kind of publicly funded technology isn't always used according to it's dedicated purpose.

            It's not any worse than in other countries
            • by Moraelin (679338)

              So basically you're proposing that the civil servants in Germany are so much better than those in the USA, that they can actually keep something like that a secret if it actually happened?

              At any rate, you're asking me to believe... what? That something happened although you have absolutely no evidence, nor even wild claims of it?

            • I didn't hear Andrej Holm complain except that his wife made a agitprop case of it.

              • by meist3r (1061628)

                I didn't hear Andrej Holm complain except that his wife made a agitprop case of it.

                Excuse me, the last thing you do if two words you've used in a scientific paper brought you constant surveillance and months of imprisonment is to give the people who still think you are a terrorist any reason to want so "silence" you even more. I would guess he keeps back with that because every word he says in his own defence would be interpreted as a terrorists denial.

                • I would not buy into that propaganda.

                  He is no simple scientist.

                  • by meist3r (1061628)

                    I would not buy into that propaganda.

                    He is no simple scientist.

                    And even if he is a left-wing activist so what? The accusations made against him and the other alleged members of the "mg - Militante Gruppe" were arson charges on vehicles. That justifies total surveillance and remand even though there is no apparent connection between the alleged arson and him? At least that is what is communicated about the case. You don't hear much from the government side of things, they're probably too embarrassed to even admit to the proceedings. I, for one, have never heard an offic

          • by he-sk (103163)

            The law does state clear limits on the usage of the Bundestrojaner, but those don't mean squat if the courts just rubber stamp requests from law enforcement.

            Which is exactly what is happening with phone wiretaps in Germany right now. A court request for a phone wiretap is basically a simple form with a line that says "check here to authorize" and that's it.

            Unsurprisingly, Germany is the country with the most wiretaps per capita in the EU by a very large margin.

            In fairness, I should add that the requirement

        • The "Federal Trojan" is a political troll.

          What the whole debate revealed was that the inner security agencies were apparently unable so far to hack computers to get information.

    • by RAMMS+EIN (578166)

      ``just hopefully, your security team follows ethics''

      Which, of course, isn't unique to security teams.

    • by meist3r (1061628)

      Why does everyone focus immediately on the "black hat" side of the story, and neglect that the group is supposed to do BOTH sides, which in some ways, is a good aspect of ANY security team... just hopefully, your security team follows ethics.

      Because in general, the military is not exactly known for it's humanitarian altruistic approach. Most military define security by going into the enemies home and screwing them there.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Jens Egon (947467)

        Why does everyone focus immediately on the "black hat" side of the story, and neglect that the group is supposed to do BOTH sides, which in some ways, is a good aspect of ANY security team... just hopefully, your security team follows ethics.

        Because in general, the military is not exactly known for it's humanitarian altruistic approach. Most military define security by going into the enemies home and screwing them there.

        Which is why the majority of soldiers in the "Democratic" Republic of Congo has AIDS.

        I hope our German friends have better security than that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Yvanhoe (564877)
      Because there are other white hat units. Having a unit made in order to carry out black hat operations is News For Nerds, Stuff That Matters.
  • Sweet... (Score:4, Funny)

    by uvajed_ekil (914487) on Monday February 09, 2009 @01:39AM (#26780347)
    The Bundeswehr is recruiting hackers? I'm sure Bayern Munich will get the top recruits as they often do, though I'll keep rooting for FC Kaiserslautern (FCK). Football and hacking finally meet, and I'm in heaven.
    • by Steemers (1031312)

      The Bundeswehr is german military.
      Did all you beer and football confused people not pay attention in school, or was the second world war only lightly touched upon?

      • by cj1127 (1077329)
        -1, sense of humour failure
      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Except during WWII the German armed forces were known as the Wehrmacht, not Bundeswehr.

      • You're not going to find many references to the Bundeswehr in histories of World War II. You're more likelly to hear about the Wehrmacht.

      • It was called a "joke." You'll find numerous definitions and descriptions of a concept called "humor" if you search the web. Were you too busy paying attention in school to develop a sense of humor, or were you actually a participant of the first world war? Have a Budweiser, watch a Bundesliga match, and don't worry, no one was trying to mess with the Bundeswehr. (We know what happens when they get mad.)
  • by agrippa_cash (590103) on Monday February 09, 2009 @02:01AM (#26780451) Homepage
    RE:German Bundeswehr Recruiting Hackers If it tastes anything like American Bundeswehr, they'll have a hard time keeping them.
  • It's like Project Icarus all over again.
  • Where do I sign up? Can we keep it quiet?

  • Not that it will be really difficult keeping these pople out, but many networks have not been attacked because of lack of an attacker. One more group that fills the role and increases the need for working defenses. Incidentially, bad times for Microsoft as well and generally for systems without competent administrators. But then, a competent administrator was allways and likely will allways be a requirement for professional computing. C

  • If I sign, will they give me that cool german helmet?

  • German Bundeswehr's idea of recruiting hackers in order to 'penetrate, manipulate and damage

    You get the 'penetrate, manipulate and damage' with Budweiser or any beer, but why hackers only? Carnage for all I say!

  • by Dj (224) on Monday February 09, 2009 @05:19AM (#26781235) Homepage

    http://www.heise-online.co.uk/news/Report-claims-German-armed-forces-setting-up-cyberwar-unit--/112595

  • The "Bundeswehr" (german military arm) is currently in the process of building a "cyberwar unit", which does not only protect it's own infrastructure from attacks, but also conducts reconnaissance and manipulation operations on foreign computers, respectively in foreign networks. According to information from "der Spiegel" (a german weekly newspaper), the unit consists of a couple of dozen computer science degree holders barracked in Rheinbach close to Bonn. Currently the "hackers in uniform" are still trai

  • the best hackers are still freelancers. Is hacking going to become an act of war in the future?

    If that's the case, the freelancers are going to send us all back to the dark ages.

    They won't stand for cyber-terrorism by the world's armies.

  • Ok, I can crack a WEP network in under 30 minutes, does that make me qualified?

    If you get your own "Das Keyboard" in the Bundeswehr -- I'm all for it.

  • I think the task of policing the network is of, well, the police, Interpol, UN WTU world telecommunication union, but not by a small secret army unit.

    We do need a protection of our websites and services, but not by a small secret army unit.

    What we need is training the civil police in every country, in every city, in every village all over the world to take care of vandals, extortionists, etc. by an organized international effort. With the participation of the programmers' community.

    Instead they invent

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