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Germany accuses Russia of government party cyber attack

Germany is pointing the finger at Russia after members of a major political party were subject to a serious cyber attack.

user icon Daniel Croft
Fri, 03 May 2024
Germany accuses Russia of government party cyber attack
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Germany said that following an investigation, it had determined a 2023 cyber attack on the Social Democratic Party was conducted by a Russian state-sponsored hacking group known as APT28, or Fancy Bear.

“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,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said at a news conference in Australia.

“In other words, it was a state-sponsored Russian cyber attack on Germany, and this is absolutely intolerable and unacceptable and will have consequences.”


Outside of accusing Russian state-sponsored actors of being behind the attack, Baerbock provided no further details surrounding the attack or the investigation’s findings. However, the EU’s Computer Security Response Unit (CERT-EU) found last year that German news publications had reported on a cyber breach on a Social Democratic Party member and that data exposure was possible.

Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong, who was present at the news conference, echoed Baerbock’s concerns, saying that Australia was “deeply troubled” by the news of the attack.

“Australia stands in solidarity with Germany in calling out states that act contrary to the norms of responsible state behaviour in cyber space,” said Wong after a meeting with Baerbock in Adelaide.

“We have previously joined the United States, UK, Canada, and New Zealand in attributing malicious cyber activity to APT28.”

APT28 has a reputation for targeting countries all over the globe and, most recently, has been observed targeting Ukrainian and Polish entities, likely in support of Russia as part of its war with Ukraine.

According to news reports, APT28 sends phishing messages to its targets with the intention of planting information-stealing malware such as MASEPIE, OCEANMAP, and STEELHOOK.

Daniel Croft

Daniel Croft

Born in the heart of Western Sydney, Daniel Croft is a passionate journalist with an understanding for and experience writing in the technology space. Having studied at Macquarie University, he joined Momentum Media in 2022, writing across a number of publications including Australian Aviation, Cyber Security Connect and Defence Connect. Outside of writing, Daniel has a keen interest in music, and spends his time playing in bands around Sydney.

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