European intelligence chiefs warned Monday that Russia is actively seeking to undermine their democracies by disinformation, cyberattacks and more traditional means of espionage. The heads of Britain and Germany’s domestic intelligence agencies, as well as the European Union and NATO’s top security officials, pinpointed Moscow as the prime source of hybrid threats to Europe, citing attempts to manipulate elections, steal sensitive data and spark a coup in Montenegro. They also cited the nerve agent attack against a former Russian spy in Britain this year that Britain has blamed on Russia. “Our respect for Russia’s people … cannot and must not stop us from calling out and pushing back on the Kremlin’s flagrant breaches of international rules,” the head of Britain’s MI5 spy agency, Andrew Parker, told an intelligence gathering in Berlin.
Parker said the March 4 attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury was swiftly followed by Russian attempts to divert blame. That resulted in at least 30 alternative theories about the attack being spread by Russian authorities and media. “Whatever nonsense they conjure up, the case is clear,” said Parker.
He later told reporters that since allied governments were first briefed on Russia’s involvement in the attack by the British government, “the case, if anything, has got stronger since then.”
Germany’s domestic intelligence chief, Hans-Georg Maassen, said his agency, known as BfV, blames Russian authorities for orchestrating a persistent cyberattack aimed at stealing sensitive data so it can be used in future intelligence campaigns, such as what happened with the Democratic National Committee emails leaked during the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign.
Full Article: European spy chiefs warn of hybrid threats from Russia, ISIS.