Russian hackers and the growing danger of them interfering in the German elections

Russian hackers and the growing danger of them interfering in the German elections

The threat of hackers seems to become, more and more, a constant reality. Or at least that is how you can interpret the latest news that comes from Germany, country that points to Russia as the culprit.

It is, in fact, a claim that is already several years old. In 2018, for example, it was reported that the Russian group APT28 had stolen data from the Ministry of Foreign and Defense.

In this regard, the Deutsche Welle wrote:

A malicious program was infiltrated with which the attackers also stole data. The German secret services detected the attack in December, but it had been active for a long time, possibly a whole year.

Since then, the possibility that APT28 would meet “representatives of the Russian government”, Which, in 2015, also carried out a digital coup against the German Parliament.

And at the end of June of this year, another group of hackers attacked again, only this time the victims were true “vital infrastructure” and “the banking sector”.

Then, the Europa Press agency collected information from “Blind”, in which it was stated that these Russian hackers had worked for the state under the name of Fancy Bear.

These attacks – whose authorship was denied by the Kremlin – were one of the reasons why the relations between “Berlin and Moscow” be “at the lowest point in the entire post-Soviet era”.

And now that the legislative elections are coming in Germany – to be held on the 26th of this month and that will define the future of Angela Merkel as Chancellor – fear of cyber espionage and cyber sabotage has once again been the talk of the headlines.

The AFP agency points out:

German authorities accused the GRU (Russian) intelligence services of perpetrating cyber attacks against Merkel’s party, the conservative CDU, and the SPD (center-left).

What is feared, said the spokeswoman for the German Chancellery, Andrea Sasse, is that they influence the elections through a “disinformation campaign”.

AFP anota:

According to the weekly Der Spiegel, hackers from ‘Operation Ghost Writer’, driven by the GRU, attempted to access private emails of national and regional MPs.

This is an increasingly common situation.

Referential image showing various connections to a computer.
Referential image showing various connections to a computer.

According to the news agency, “german authorities” have already accused the Kremlin of “being behind extensive hacking against computers of the German Parliament and Merkel’s team”.

That is why, now, the German government has decided to open an investigation “for cyber espionage to deputies, allegedly promoted by the Russian secret services”.

(RECENT) HISTORY OF CYBER ATTACKS

The Kremlin has denied having the baton of these Russian hackers. Even so, the accusations against it have not only come from Germany, USA has also identified them as aggressors.

This year alone, the US reported two major cyberattacks.

At the end of May, Microsoft noted that “hackers linked to Russian espionage” had infiltrated the system of “email used by the Department of State International Aid Agency”.

The idea would have been to enter the “computer network of groups and organizations critical of the Kremlin”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin

This is how Microsoft put it:

We have detected cyberattacks by the Nobelium group, targeting government agencies, analysis centers [think tanks], consultants and non-governmental organizations”.

“El País” recalls that, in 2020, Nobelium attacked SolarWind:

For more than six months, foreign agents infiltrated the US government. They contemplated the daily work of at least six departments, including Defense, State, Commerce and the Treasury, as well as organizations such as the National Institutes of Health and numerous large private companies”.

Other cyberattacks that came from Russia also occurred in the middle of this year.

So US President Joe Biden accused the group Darkside to hit the Colonial Pipeline, “one of America’s largest fuel distributors”.

In this regard, Deutsche Welle noted that Darkside’s ‘modus operandi’ was to hijack the “computer software from companies that requires hundreds of thousands of dollars, even millions, to give them back control”.

But perhaps the hardest hit the United States received was the cyberattack on the 2016 presidential campaign.

Then, the groups were pointed out APT28 and APT29 from “malicious activity” for “compromise and exploit the networks and servers associated with the elections”.

In response, the government of Barack Obama he said he would sanction Russia “for trying to influence“In the elections when taking out”in light of internal communications from the Democratic Party”.

“El País” notes that the attacks occurred from 2015 to 2016 and that they sought to reach “government agencies, critical infrastructures, universities, political organizations and companies” to steal information from them.

How was the attack?

Hackers sent trustworthy-looking emails asking users to change their passwords.

This is how they managed to enter “internal emails from the Democratic Party and from members of the Hillary Clinton campaign”.

“El País” adds:

That information was then forwarded to the databases controlled by the hackers through secure ‘tunnels’ created by themselves and disseminated on the Internet by agents such as Wikileaks or on different web pages”.

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.