Cyber Attacks

Hackers Target German Politicians - Again

bundestag glass dome ap
Security officials worry about foreign groups hacking parliament servers.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    German security services fear that foreign intelligence agencies are looking for material on politicians and parties to exert influence on Germany’s 2017 parliamentary elections.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • In August, a suspicious e-mail reportedly was received by German parliamentarians.
    • A link in the email led to a server that could surreptitiously install spyware on to the recipient’s computer.
    • In 2015, hackers using a similar e-mail gained access to the Bundestag’s intranet and spied on communications.
  • Audio

    Audio

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The e-mail appeared to come from NATO headquarters in Brussels, offering information about the earthquake in Italy. But anyone clicking on the link wasn’t directed to the western military alliance, but to a server that installed spyware on the recipient’s computer.

The so-called spear phishing attack hit German parliamentarians’ inboxes in August, according to an investigative report by the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper and public broadcasters NDR and WDR. Recipients included members of the Social Democratic Party, Left Party and Christian Democratic Union.

In 2015, the intranet of the Bundestag, Germany’s lower legislative chamber, was the target of a similar e-mail attack. At the time, federal security officials called it a “grave and far-reaching attack” and a “not insignificant data leak.” They traced the cyber attack to Russia

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