Russian cyberspies likely behind DNC breach move on to German election
Security

Russian cyberspies likely behind DNC breach move on to German election

A group of suspected Russian cyberspies blamed for interfering in the U.S. election is also attempting to influence the upcoming vote in Germany, according to the country's domestic intelligence agency.

The Russian hacking group known as Fancy Bear or APT 28 has been targeting political parties in the country, Germany's Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) intelligence agency said in a statement Thursday posted online by Politico.

The hacking activities have led to a surge in spear-phishing email attacks directed at German politicians, the agency said.  

Fancy Bear is one of the elite Russian hacking teams that allegedly hacked the Democratic National Committee and stole sensitive files that were later leaked online, according to U.S. security firms.

To steal passwords, Fancy Bear has been known to send fake emails, pretending to be from Google, that ask the recipients to type in their login information. Earlier this year, the hacking group directed this kind of attack against aides working for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, according to Dell SecureWorks.

Later, during the presidential race, leaked emails from Hillary Clinton aide John Podesta and former Secretary of State Colin Powell were published online through WikiLeaks and a hacktivist site called DCLeaks – potentially influencing voter opinions about the presidential candidates.

In Germany, Fancy Bear has been attempting to promote propaganda and disinformation under the guise of hacktivism, according to the country's BfV intelligence agency. The objective is to destabilize the government and help support extremist groups, it added.

"We are increasingly finding aggressive cyberspying," Hans-Georg Maassen, head of the BfV intelligence agency, said in a statement. He warned that the attacks will attempt to discredit German politicians by spreading the misinformation over social media.

In October, U.S. intelligence agencies also blamed Russia for sponsoring hacks meant to tamper with the U.S. election. However, the Russian government has denied any involvement.

Despite the denial, Russia will continue to sponsor these kinds of election-influencing hacks in Europe, said Dmitri Alperovitch, CTO at security firm Crowdstrike. The goal has been to prevent tighter integration among countries belonging to the European Union, he said.

"The blueprint Russia has been using for these hacks has been quite successful to further their objectives," he said.

IDG Insider

PREVIOUS ARTICLE

«Android Studio for beginners, Part 4: Advanced tools and plugins

NEXT ARTICLE

Microsoft's vision for LinkedIn is about tying its business data into Office and other services»
author_image
IDG Connect

IDG Connect tackles the tech stories that matter to you

Add Your Comment

Recommended for You

silhouette

Everything you need to know about… Tech Careers

IDG Connect tackles the tech stories that matter to you

kathryn-cave

Blockchain For Dummies: What you really need to know

Kathryn Cave looks at the big trends in global tech

martin-veitch-thumbnail

What we know and don’t know about digital transformation

Martin Veitch's inside track on today’s tech trends

Most Recent Comments

Our Case Studies

IDG Connect delivers full creative solutions to meet all your demand generatlon needs. These cover the full scope of options, from customized content and lead delivery through to fully integrated campaigns.

images

Our Marketing Research

Our in-house analyst and editorial team create a range of insights for the global marketing community. These look at IT buying preferences, the latest soclal media trends and other zeitgeist topics.

images

Poll

Should companies have Bitcoins on hand in preparation for a Ransomware attack?