Chancellor Angela Merkel warned on Tuesday that Russia could try to influence next year’s German national elections through cyber warfare and disinformation, an assertion that comes after Washington blamed Moscow for interfering in the US election. Merkel told a conference that Germany already faced “a daily task” of responding to Russian cyber attacks and a disinformation campaign. “We are already, even now, having to deal with information out of Russia or with internet attacks that are of Russian origin or with news which sows false information,” Merkel said alongside her Norwegian counterpart Erna Solberg.
“That is why it can play a role in the election campaign,” added Merkel, who still hasn’t declared her candidacy but is widely expected to run for a fourth consecutive term in the September 2017 elections.
Authorities in Berlin suspect Russia to be behind a number of cyber attacks on German institutions, including an massive attack last year on the lower house of parliament, the Bundestag. Russia is also suspected to be behind cyber attacks on the headquarters of Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats.