German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen has revealed that the government is under attack from hackers after malware was found on chancellor Angela Merkel's computer.
The minister told Die Welt that a wide range of incidents and assaults have hit the German government.
Von der Leyen described the attacks as a major security challenge in the coming decades, as they could wreak enormous damage.
The reports about malware found on the Merkel's computer also suggest that other official machines might be infected.
Von der Leyen said that the German government will analyse the security work being done by its international peers and consider an appropriate response.
Germany has spoken out about threats to its governmental security and integrity before, although it was interested in the machinations of other governments for different reasons.
"I expect a clear commitment from the US government that in future they will stick to German law," she said at the time.
President Obama held a joint conference with Merkel earlier this year to discuss concerns about US overreach. The pair were polled on the current, post-PRISM relationship during a question and answer session.
President Obama acknowledged some mass surveillance issues, but asked the people of Germany to put some trust in his country.
"There's no doubt that the Snowden revelations damaged the impressions of Germans with respect to the US government and our intelligence cooperation," he said.
"What I would ask would be that the German people recognise that the US has always been at the forefront of trying to promote civil liberties, and that we have traditions of due process that we respect.
"And so occasionally I would like the German people to give us the benefit of the doubt, given our history, as opposed to assuming the worst. Assuming that we have been consistently your strong partners and that we share a common set of values."
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