German secret intelligence types must have been more than pleased about uncovering China’s recent cyber attack on Germany. Not only was the Chinese Prime Minister forced to address the issue publicly during Angela Merkel’s visit to that country, public awareness about the alarming degree of industrial espionage taking place in Germany has now been sharpened considerably (from not at all to mildly interested at best). Although innovation is about the only “weapon” Germany has left when it comes to global competition, the Germans don’t seem to mind giving it away (think maglev trains).

And now Iran, one of the heavy hitters in this booming global industrial espionage industry, will have to face additional sanctions because of it. Its covert attempts at enriching uranium to build a nuclear bomb have been so pitiful that not even the Germans can pretend to ignore them anymore. What is worse, or better, I should say, they have been caught spying here yet again. And now the German government has finally taken the big plunge and officially banned German firms from importing goods to Iran “that could be used for military purposes”.

Yup, the Chinese cyber attack helped bring to attention how intensively the Iranian secret service has been trying to gain access to German high-tech facilities in North Rhine-Westphalia. They want to get smart about military technology on the cheap. Why take the time to develop something yourself when you can steal it instead (from Russia with love, this is, after all, official state policy there)? Everyone knew about activities like these before, of course, but that missing extra political charge caused by the Chinese attack seems to have still been needed before the German government felt it could take action, something it otherwise appears loathe to do – or at least when it comes to good-old-buddy Geschäftspartner (business parters) types like Teheran.

So I hope the Chinese hack-attack was worth it (right, as if the Germans don’t protect their information with internal networks and who the hell knows what else). It looks as though there are consequences for actions like these after all, even if the country you are cyber-attacking is Germany.

Bond. Mahmoud Bond.

Come visit me at Observing Hermann…

Be Sociable, Share!