US media is reporting that Germany has protested to Russia over attempts to steal data from lawmakers in what it suspects may have been preparation for spreading disinformation ahead of the upcoming German election. According to the AP article:
September 6, 2021 Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Andrea Sasse said that a hacker outfit called Ghostwriter has been “combining conventional cyberattacks with disinformation and influence operations,” and that activities targeting Germany have been observed “for some time.” She said that, ahead of Germany’s parliamentary election on Sept. 26, there have been attempts — using phishing emails, among other things — to get hold of personal login details of federal and state lawmakers, with the aim of identity theft. “These attacks could serve as preparations for influence operations such as disinformation campaigns connected with the parliamentary election,” she told reporters in Berlin. “The German government has reliable information on the basis of which Ghostwriter activities can be attributed to cyber-actors of the Russian state and, specifically, Russia’s GRU military intelligence service,” Sasse said. It “views this unacceptable activity as a danger to the security of the Federal Republic of Germany and for the process of democratic decision-making, and as a severe strain on bilateral relations.”
Read the rest here.
We have previously reported on the cyber-influence operation Ghostwriter in May and August, detailing how Ghostwriter activities targeted audiences in Lithuania, Latvia, and Poland with narratives critical of NATO’s presence in Eastern Europe and highlighting Ghostwriter’s links to a Baltic disinformation outlet.