BfV agency says Russia is behind German cyber-attacks
The BfV added that it sees “evidence of Russian state control” in the operation that infected computers with Trojan software.
According to Germany's domestic intelligence agency, Russia was most likely responsible for the major cyber-attack on the Bundestag last year, forcing computer systems to go offline for days.
“One of the most active and aggressive campaigns is the ‘Sofacy/APT 28' campaign,” said the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) agency. The BfV added that it sees “evidence of Russian state control” in the operation that infected computers with Trojan software that would've given the attackers permanent access to computers used by staff and MPs at the Bundestag.
The Sofacy/APT 28 campaign has had fingers pointed at it for a wide range of attacks on governments and finance institutions since 2004. The BfV has been monitoring the group for years and pointed out that some of its hacks on Germany were going on for over a decade.
“The campaigns that the BfV has observed in the past have generally been focused on obtaining information, in other words spying,” said Hans-Georg Maassen, president of the BfV. “But lately intelligence agencies have also shown a willingness to conduct sabotage.”
Relations between Berlin and Moscow have sunk to their lowest point since the Cold War after Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea and intervention in Syria, according to Reuters.
Hackers linked to the same group also targeted the computer systems of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party. Russia has yet to respond to the accusations made by the BfV.