Thuringia: Maier calls for better protection for critical infrastructure

A bloody war has been raging in Eastern Europe since the end of February.

Thuringia: Maier calls for better protection for critical infrastructure

A bloody war has been raging in Eastern Europe since the end of February. Even if Germany is not directly involved, Interior Minister Georg Maier believes it is possible that it could become a victim of hybrid warfare - and calls for better protection.

Erfurt (dpa/th) - Thuringia's Interior Minister Georg Maier has spoken out in favor of better protecting the critical infrastructure. "It's quite obvious that we can become victims of hybrid warfare," said the SPD politician on Thursday in Erfurt. Cyber ​​attacks on critical infrastructures must be taken into account. "And I don't think we're optimally prepared yet."

Even if Russia gives the impression that it wants to continue its aggressive war against Ukraine on a permanent basis, it represents a very high burden for the country and the political leadership in the Kremlin. "That means you have to expect further escalation."

Maier reiterated the call from the conference of interior ministers to expand the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) into a central office. "We have 16 states and it will not work if each state comes up with its own cyber defense strategy now, spends money and you develop 16 different solutions," he said.

A cyber defense platform will be set up in Thuringia. But you need the BSI as a central office - comparable to the position of the Federal Criminal Police Office. Maier said he is an advocate of federalism, but one must keep an eye on the interaction of all levels of government - this is particularly important in cyber defense. "I would like Thuringia to be able to put itself under the protective umbrella of the BSI to a certain extent."

Maier emphasized that, in his opinion, a law for critical infrastructure is also needed. Many areas of public services are in private hands. The companies would not only have to be obliged to comply with certain safety standards, but also to report incidents.

According to the 55-year-old, the consequences of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine will also continue to concern Thuringia in the coming year. In his opinion, the fact that the protests in many German cities did not lead to a "hot autumn" is also due to the fact that some extremist networks were addressed. "The bottom line is that this "hot autumn" didn't happen," said Maier. There are various reasons for this. But his thesis is that it had a lot to do with communication. "That we disclosed which networks play a role in the background," said Maier.

People have been made aware that it is not a good idea to chase actors with Reich or Russian flags. In Maier's opinion, the measures taken by the federal government to combat the energy crisis are also helping.

It is true that many were mobilized by concern about the utility bills. However, with the introduction of gas price and electricity price caps, people now know that the costs will not go through the roof beyond measure. The economy has also proven to be resilient. "What extremists and enemies of democracy need as an elixir of life - fear has been reduced to some extent," said Maier.

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