Russian hackers have managed to infiltrate the data network of two German ministries, said Wednesday the DPA news agency quoting sources close to the intelligence services.
According to these anonymous sources, the Russian group “ATP28” also known as “Fancy Bears” or “Tsar Team” hacked the systems of the Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs for a long time, at least a year, and has obtained important data, says DPA, without specifying what.
The German intelligence services had noted the attack last December. If confirmed, it would be the largest in Germany, according to DPA.
Asked by journalists, a spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior said that the authorities were investigating “an incident affecting the security of the information system, which concerns (…) the networks of the State” without going into details.
Berlin had feared cyberattacks last year likely to disrupt the parliamentary elections of last September.
German intelligence has repeatedly accused the Russian secret service of conducting international campaigns of cyber attacks for espionage and sabotage, including in 2015 against the Bundestag, the Chamber of Deputies.
Several election campaigns have been affected by computer hackers attributed to the group “Fancy Bears”, as in the United States in November 2016, against the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton, or in France, where thousands of internal documents of then candidate Emmanuel Macron were broadcast on the internet just before the second round of the presidential election last year.