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Report: Germany hacked Afghan firm to help free aid worker

Associated Press Associated Press 23/09/2016

BERLIN — German weekly Der Spiegel reports that the country's army hacked a mobile phone company in Afghanistan to help free a kidnapped aid worker.

A spokesman for the German Defense Ministry declined to confirm the report Friday citing security reasons.

Der Spiegel reports that the German army's computer network operations unit, or CNO, conducted its first ever cyberattack in the fall of 2015.

The magazine claims the attack on the unidentified company helped pinpoint the whereabouts of the kidnappers of a German woman, who was later released.

Defense Ministry spokesman Michael Henjes said members of the German Parliament who review security matters would be provided with any relevant information.

Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen wants to increase the number of cyber specialists in the German army to 13,500 by 2021.

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