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Germany blames Russia for ‘intolerable’ cyberattack – World News




Germany on Friday blamed Russian state-sponsored hackers for an “intolerable” cyberattack on members of the Social Democratic Party and warned there would be consequences.

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said a German federal government investigation into who was behind the 2023 cyberattack on the SPD had just concluded.

“Today we can say unambiguously (that) we can attribute this cyberattack to a group called APT28, which is steered by the military intelligence service of Russia,” she told a news conference during a visit to Australia.

“In other words, it was a state-sponsored Russian cyberattack on Germany and this is absolutely intolerable and unacceptable and will have consequences.”

APT28, also known as Fancy Bear, has been accused of dozens of cyberattacks in countries around the world.

Baerbock did not give further details of the cyberattack against the SPD.

In Berlin, a German foreign ministry spokesman said on Friday that the acting charge d’affaires of the Russian embassy had been summoned over the incident.

The cyberattack again showed “that the Russian threat to security and peace in Europe is real and enormous,” the spokesman told reporters in Berlin.

The European Union’s computer security response unit CERT-EU last year noted a German media report that an SPD executive had been targeted in a cyberattack in January 2023, “resulting in possible data exposure”.

It said there were reportedly “concrete signs” it was of Russian origin.

Baerbock spoke after a meeting with Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong in Adelaide, South Australia.

Wong said Australia was “deeply troubled” by the cyberactivity raised by Baerbock.

“Australia stands in solidarity with Germany in calling out states that act contrary to the norms of responsible state behaviour in cyberspace,” Wong said.

“We have previously joined the United States, U.K., Canada, and New Zealand in attributing malicious cyberactivity to APT28.”

One of the most high-profile incidents so far blamed on Russian hackers was a cyberattack in 2015 that paralysed the computer network of the German lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, forcing the entire institution offline for days while it was fixed.

Russia denies being behind such actions.

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