Looking to safeguard the nation's computer systems, Germany plans to establish a computer emergency response center, Otto Schilly, the country's interior minister, said at a press conference. Schilly is concerned that German businesses don't do enough to maintain the security of their computer systems and home users underestimate the threat posed by viruses, phishing and other forms of cybercrime.

The national computer emergency response center is similar to US-CERT or the United States Computer Emergency Response Team, with its goals of preventing and responding to cyberthreats and fostering the adoption of common security practices. The organization is part of Germany's Federal Office for Security in Information Technology, known by the initials of its German name, BSI, Computerworld reported.

The announcement by the German interior minister of that country's computer emergency response center is the latest by a foreign government to establish centers for the fighting of cyberthreats. In addition to the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, Italy, Japan and Hong Kong have also launched their own computer emergency response centers. In addition the European Union was exploring the development of such a center that would have responsibility of containing computer security incidents for each of the member states until last April when talks broke down over disagreements concerning information sharing.