A year ago the German armed forces set up a command center for internet security. The new German hacker-soldier elite is being trained at the Bundeswehr University, on the outskirts of Munich.
Gabi Dreo, a professor of IT security and the executive director of Germany’s Code research institute, has big plans. She walked briskly across the campus of Munich’s Bundeswehr University and pointed to a large open area that includes a field and a parking lot. “We can really make use of this space,” she said. “This will be the site of the new building: digital forensics labs, software development — around 40,000 square meters (430,000 square feet).” Construction is due to take place next year, when Dreo’s new colleagues will also be taken on. Eleven professors, two junior professors and about 300 other employees will round out the staff. “We’re training the IT experts who make it hard for hackers to break into the systems,” Dreo said.
The Bundeswehr is intensifying its cyberdefense efforts, and for that it needs expertise and fresh talent. Dreo has introduced a new IT degree course: Since the start of this year, students can graduate from the Bundeswehr University with a master’s degree in cybersecurity.