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Militärische Cyber-Operationen – Nutzen, Limitierungen und Lehren für Deutschland

Cyber operations in foreign networks are considered the “perfect weapon” or “all-purpose sword” in many states. This is because they can be used to achieve a number of different effects. Cyber operations can trigger temporary disruptions, destroy data, systems or even connected cyber-physical systems, and be used to obtain information. In theory, this results in flexible uses: from influencing foreign societies to espionage, sabotage, and even “taking out” entire countries. However, not everything that is theoretically possible is also practically feasible or makes sense in terms of security policy under the given conditions. If one analyses the use of cyber operations in military conflicts empirically, one finds that there is a wide range of different types of offensive military cyber operations (OMCO). On the one hand, the available tools have the potential to provide strategic, operational, and tactical advantages, but on the other hand, they are also subject to numerous limitations, or, in some cases, they may harbour enormous risks, which make them appear to be an unsuitable military tool in many operational contexts. In this respect, the research question arises as to which types of military cyber operations could be exemplary for Germany for its own Bundeswehr missions and which operational, technical and legal obstacles exist in this regard.

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