Germany accuses Russian agencies of repeated cyberattacks in Berlin before national elections

World - Himanshu Gill - Dec 09,2016

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germany accuses russian agencies of repeated cyberattacks in berlin before national elections

Germany's domestic intelligence agency has reported a striking increase in the number of cyberattacks which may affect the election campaigns in the country along with numerous other consequences.

The agency is accusing its Russian counterpart for the propaganda and disinformation campaigns targeted at destabilizing German society, and aimed cyberattacks against political parties. Last week, around 900,000 Germans lost access to internet and telephone services.

Germans are now concerned that Berlin is becoming the center of Moscow’s campaigns to destabilize the western economy and with the national elections approaching next year, Germany is trying its best to establish safer networks.

Hackers first infiltrated the German Parliament’s computer network in May 2015 and after an year of continuous and detailed investigation, they concluded that Russian agencies are most likely to be the culprits. Their suspicions were further intensified when the US government accused the Russian administration of attacking Democratic Party emails during the American presidential elections.

An increasing dissemination of false news through various sources, wrong information and propaganda during the recent American elections and Italy’s referendum has made matters more critical for the German intelligence agency.

Hans-Georg Maassen, head of the BfV spy agency said that cyberattacks are hiking, potentially to endanger the officials, members of parliament and political parties. He added that the ‘disinformation’ campaigns are largely targeting the Russian speaking community in Germany to strengthen extremist feelings and spread uncertainty amongst them.

German officials have also accused Russians of trying to manipulate German media to fan a popular angst over issues like the migrant crisis. In January, Russian state media spread fake reports that a 13 year old girl had been gang raped by Middle Eastern refugees in Berlin. They also said that Russia is trying to breed dissent within the EU so that it drops sanctions against Moscow.

Russian officials have denied all accusations of any involvement in the cyberattacks or spreading disinformation during the US presidential elections or in Berlin.