How Will Kremlin Use Hacked German Data?

With the German federal elections only four months away, there are concerns Russia may attempt to influence the result. This is according to Hans-Georg Maassen, the president of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency.

At a conference on national cyber security, the head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency says he believes Moscow may use political data stolen in cyber attacks to influence the September 24th national elections.

It is believed that Russian intelligence used similar methods to influence the 2016 US presidential election.

Hans-Georg Maassen, President of Germany’s Domestic Intelligence Agency

In the US, it probably happened that way, information leaked, and the political decision was met to use it against the US. Whether we will experience that this year in Germany, I cannot predict. It is also a political decision, and I assume that it will be made in the Kremlin.

In 2015, APT28, a Kremlin-backed Russian hacking group, seized, QUOTE, “a large amount of data” during a cyber attack on the Bundestag, or lower house of parliament. There were subsequent attacks on other political institutions, but it is unclear if they were successful.

From the case with the US, German intelligence already has a pretty clear idea of how Russia uses information to influence elections.

Hans-Georg Maassen, President of Germany’s Domestic Intelligence Agency

It starts with official media channels, Russian media channels, biased information, scattering of false information, attempts to place certain images like in the case of ‘Lisa’ if I may recall that again, but also information that is not false, not ‘fake news,’ but real information that is generated without citation, keyword ‘cyber espionage’, that is used to discredit people or take influence.

The Domestic Intelligence Agency chief said Germany is working hard to strengthen its cyber defenses against Russia and other threats, ahead of the September vote.