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Germany accuses Russia of cyberattack against governing party in 2023

by Martin Fornusek May 3, 2024 10:03 AM 2 min read
Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong (R) meets with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock during a visit to the Government House on May 3, 2024, in Adelaide, Australia. (Michael Errey - Pool/Getty Images)
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Germany on May 3 blamed Russian-backed hackers for a cyberattack against members of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) last year and promised a response, Deutsche Welle (DW) reported.

Relations between Berlin and Moscow have deteriorated sharply after Germany threw its support behind Ukraine, which faces the ongoing Russian invasion.

SPD, the strongest party in Germany's governing coalition, announced in June 2023 that email accounts of its members had been targeted by hackers earlier that year.

Speaking at a press conference in Australia, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said that the investigation into the incident has concluded and pointed to Russia as the culprit.

"Today we can say unambiguously... we can attribute this cyber attack to a group called APT28, which is steered by the military intelligence service of Russia," Baerbock said.

"In other words, it was a state-sponsored Russian cyberattack on Germany," the minister said, adding: "This is absolutely intolerable and unacceptable and will have consequences."

Russia's military intelligence agency, also known as GRU, has already been linked to numerous cyberattacks in Ukraine and elsewhere.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said that a GRU-backed group called SandWorm was responsible for a large-scale hacking attack against the Kyivstar telecommunications provider in December 2023.

Speaking alongside Baerbock at the press conference in Adelaide, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong voiced full support for Germany: "Australia stands in solidarity with Germany in calling out states that act contrary to the norms of responsible state behavior in cyberspace."

Ukraine’s military intelligence launches cyberattack against United Russia party
United Russia claimed earlier in the day that its electronic services were under large-scale DDoS attacks.
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