Should I be afraid of foreign hackers

6 out of 10 internet users fear cyber wars

  • 55 percent call for digital counter-attacks in government cyberattacks
  • The Munich Security Conference starts on February 15th

Berlin, February 12, 2019 - The power goes out, public transport has come to a standstill and government networks are infiltrated - these are possible scenarios of what is known as cyber war. Six out of ten Internet users (58 percent) in Germany are afraid of it. That is the result of a representative survey on behalf of the digital association Bitkom among more than 1,000 internet users in Germany. According to this, the majority of users (56 percent) believe that state conflicts will increasingly take the form of cyber attacks in the future. Almost one in five (19 percent) thinks this will definitely happen. "Hackers on behalf of the state are the mercenaries of tomorrow," says Bitkom President Achim Berg. "Compared to conventional disputes, digital attacks are more precise for states, they cost less money and can be easily carried out from the clandestine." The arsenal ranges from disinformation campaigns on the Internet to sabotage of critical foreign infrastructures.

The majority are in favor of digital counter-attacks

The majority of Internet users are of the opinion that Germany must prepare for possible cyber wars and also launch counter-attacks. 55 percent of Internet users say: In the event of a cyber attack, Germany should itself actively fight back with cyber attacks. In addition, two thirds (67 percent) call for investments in the security of critical infrastructures, such as B. in hospitals, the energy supply or public transport. A similar number (66 percent) support the establishment of a digital disaster control system. Almost half (44 percent) would like cyber alliances with other states, for example in the form of a cyber NATO. Three out of ten (29 percent) expect investments in their own cyber defense units, e.g. B. the Bundeswehr. And at least 13 percent call for emergency training courses to prepare the population for emergencies. In contrast, one in four (24 percent) said that Germany should not equip or prepare for a cyber war. "Germany must have the capabilities and resources to withstand large-scale cyberattacks," said Berg. “However, digital counter-attacks are associated with incalculable risks, e. B. because the exact origin of the attacks can usually not be clearly proven. It is important that companies and authorities work together even better in the field of cybersecurity. ”The National Cyber ​​Security Council, the Alliance for Cybersecurity and the Cybercrime Security Cooperation in Germany are good examples of how the state and business can counter the dangers in cyberspace together. Berg: "We also need such initiatives at an international level."

Methodological note: The information is based on a representative survey that Bitkom Research carried out on behalf of the Bitkom digital association. 1,010 Internet users aged 16 and over were interviewed by telephone. The survey is representative. The questions were: "Are you afraid of a cyber war?" H. on the Internet in the form of cyberattacks? ”“ In your opinion, should Germany actively fight back with cyberattacks in the event of a cyberattack? ”and“ How should Germany prepare for cyber war and prepare for future cyberattacks? ”