Berlin is braced for a possible Russian campaign aimed at damaging democracy in the run-up to September’s German election, officials warned on Tuesday, as they pointed the finger at several states for launching cyber attacks. Russia, China, Iran and Turkey are all accused of having targeted Germany in an annual government report on domestic and foreign security threats. The dangers range from the loss of sensitive data to the planting of delayed-action malware that could trigger “silent, ticking digital time bombs” primed to manipulate computers and sabotage infrastructure. The warning, a few days before G20 leaders are due to discuss global cyber threats, shows increasing international concern over cyber security but could also raise tension at the Hamburg summit, which Angela Merkel, German chancellor, is hosting.
“It is assumed that Russian state agencies are trying to influence parties, politicians and public opinion, with a particular eye to the 2017 parliamentary election,” the report from the interior ministry said.
Hans-Georg Maassen, head of the domestic intelligence agency, said the intention might not be to favour one or another party in the polls but “to damage trust in and the functioning of our democracy so our government should have domestic political difficulties and not be as free to act in its foreign policy as it is today”.
Full Article: Berlin braces for Russian meddling before September election.