Spiegel Claims Hackers In 2015 Could Have Stolen Thousands Of Emails Belonging To Merkel
Der Spiegel claims that allegedly Russian hackers in 2015 could copy the correspondence of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, gaining access to computers in her office in the Bundestag. This is stated in an article published on Friday.
According to the publication, a hacker under the pseudonym Scaramouche penetrated Merkel's computer exactly five years ago, on May 8, 2015. German authorities do not yet know what information he and his accomplices managed to steal during the cyber attack. The total amount of data accessed by the attacker reaches at least 16 GB. "Among them, perhaps thousands of emails from Merkel's office," Der Spiegel writes.
According to the Federal Office For Criminal Affairs (BKA) and the Federal Office For Information Technology Security of Germany (BSI), the attackers then targeted two email addresses of the Chancellor, which contained her correspondence for 2012-2015. The law enforcement agencies state that "it is no longer possible to establish with full confidence" exactly how much information has leaked.
Der Spiegel notes that, even though the secret correspondence is carried out by Merkel from the Office of the Federal Chancellor, the stolen information from the Bundestag could allow conclusions to be drawn about the personal and official environment of the head of government, as well as her political decisions.
A cyberattack on the Bundestag's networks was carried out on April 30, 2015. Many MPs then received identical emails that ended in "@un.org" as if they were connected to the UN. The emails contained a link that was clicked to activate a malicious spy program. In order to prevent its spread, the German authorities even had to temporarily disable the entire IT system of the Bundestag. In total, at least 16 GB of data was stolen, including emails from parliamentarians.
The newspaper reminds us that the Statute of limitations for the committed crime will expire in a few weeks. At the same time, on May 5, according to the newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Prosecutor General's office of Germany announced an international search for a Russian Dmitry Badin on suspicion of involvement in a cyberattack on the Bundestag network.
The Russian side has repeatedly denied accusations of involvement in hacker attacks. None of the German law enforcement agencies has ever provided any evidence to support the media version of the cybercriminals' links to Moscow.