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German Authorities Prepare For Foreign Influence Operations Ahead Of Federal Elections

June 28th, 2021 13:42

Ger­man media is report­ing that Ger­man author­i­ties are prepar­ing for for­eign influ­ence oper­a­tions, cyber attacks, and dis­in­for­ma­tion cam­paigns ahead of fed­er­al elec­tions in Sep­tem­ber. Accord­ing to a FAZ report:

May 26, 2021 The secu­ri­ty author­i­ties are prepar­ing for cyber attacks and dis­in­for­ma­tion cam­paigns in con­nec­tion with the fed­er­al elec­tion. The threats are greater than in the past, said Arne Schön­bohm, Pres­i­dent of the Fed­er­al Office for Infor­ma­tion Secu­ri­ty (BSI), on Tues­day. He cit­ed advanc­ing dig­i­ti­za­tion as the rea­son for this. More and more peo­ple are using the Inter­net to find out more, and online com­mu­ni­ca­tion has become even more impor­tant dur­ing the pan­dem­ic. It can be assumed that attempts at manip­u­la­tion, as in the Amer­i­can pres­i­den­tial elec­tion cam­paign, “also in Ger­many as the most eco­nom­i­cal­ly pow­er­ful pow­er in Europe” are attrac­tive to attack­ers.  Schön­bohm described the dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tion as “com­plex”. The BSI Pres­i­dent warned of mal­func­tions and attempts at sab­o­tage by Tro­jan pro­grams. The attack on Microsoft­’s Exchange Serv­er is also a per­sis­tent prob­lem. In Ger­many there are 65,000 such servers, and 4,000 are still not “patched”, mean­ing that cyber­crim­i­nals can attack them. Hack­ers could also try to take over politi­cians’ accounts and give false infor­ma­tion there or access, fal­si­fy and pub­lish sen­si­tive data. [Trans­lat­ed with Google Translate]

Read the rest here.

Germany’s inter­nal intel­li­gence agency has recent­ly iden­ti­fied Rus­sia, Chi­na, and Iran as the prin­ci­pal for­eign actors car­ry­ing out cyber­at­tacks against Ger­man agen­cies and interests.

In March, we report­ed that an EU study found that Ger­many is the main focus of Russ­ian dis­in­for­ma­tion efforts in Europe.