Increased cyberattacks from Russia on German parties

In the past few weeks there has been an increase in attack activities, according to the BMI’s confidential „Situation report hybrid threats”, cited by German broadcaster ARD. [Shutterstock/ADragan]

Germany’s interior ministry has warned that the country’s September elections are at risk of being targeted by Russian cyberattacks.

In the past few weeks there has been an increase in cyberattacks, according to a ministry assessment seen by German broadcaster ARD, including so-called brute force attacks on e-mail accounts in order to access sensitive data.

In the report, the interior ministry said it considers the attacks against political foundations and parties to be a “serious threat” against the backdrop of the upcoming federal elections.

According to the findings, the captured data could also be used specifically for influence operations and disinformation.

The report refers to attacks on the 2016 US Democrat election campaign, in which data was stolen and then published online in an attempt to sway the result. In 2018, the US judiciary charged 12 members of a hacker group from the Russian military intelligence service GRU for the attacks.

In 2017, a similar “hack and leak” strategy was used during the French presidential election campaign. (Alexandra Brzozowski, EURACTIV.com)

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