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Germany Protests To Russia Over Pre-Election Cyberattacks

September 15th, 2021 16:39

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.