German Chancellor accuses Russia of Email Account Hacking
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has stated she has “strong evidence” that Russia was behind an “outrageous” hacking attack that breached her emails and paralyzed the IT arrangements of Germany’s Parliament, the Bundestag.
On Wednesday, she was questioned about a report in Der Spiegel, a German magazine, which stated that the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence unit, was behind a hacking invasion on the Bundestag in 2015, which reached emails from her constituency office.
“I can truly say that it pains me,” she stated in Parliament, according to the AFP news agency. “Every day, I try to make a better relationship with Russia, and on the other hand, there is such strong evidence that Russian authorities are doing this.”
According to Der Spiegel, German authorities have named the alleged primary offender in the 2015 cyberattack on the Bundestag as Dimitri Badin, a GRU operative. He is indicted for stealing 16 gigabytes of data, including all emails from Merkel’s parliamentary office within 2012 and 2015.
Badin is also reportedly part of the unit behind hacking attacks on the Democratic Party in the 2016 US presidential election, the World Anti-Doping Agency, a chemical-weapons laboratory in Switzerland, and others.
Both the FBI and Germany’s Federal Court of Justice are trying his arrest.
The German administration has consistently emphasized the significance of developing relations with Russia, even as it remains connected to hacking attacks and extrajudicial assassinations across Europe.
Relations between Russia and Germany have become especially wrenched since the murder of a former Chechen commander in a Berlin park. German prosecutors have stated evidence that the killing was taken out by Russian or Chechen state agents.
Merkel called such actions as “more than uncomfortable” and showed that she would think to inflict new sanctions on Russia, AFP reported.
Merkel stated: “It upsets association of trust and you know that in connection with the murder … we implemented sanctions, in this case, expulsions” of Russian representatives.
“We now have the job of finding the wanted suspect, but we always hold the right to take steps — also against Russia, to be clear.”
The 2015 incident isn’t the only time Germany’s administration has been subjected to a presumed cyberattack from Russia.
In 2018, the country’s IT system was targeted, with news accusing Russia of attempted invasion, according to the BBC.