Germany: Kremlin to decide whether to use hacked data to influence election

Reuters News
Posted: May 04, 2017 7:36 AM

BERLIN (Reuters) - The head of Germany's domestic intelligence agency said it would ultimately be up the Kremlin to decide whether data gleaned from cyber attacks directed at German lawmakers and political parties would be used to try to affect the Sept. 24 national election.

Hans-Georg Maassen, president of the BfV agency, said "large amounts of data" were seized during the May 2015 cyber attack on the Bundestag, or lower house of parliament, which has been previously been blamed on APT28, a Russian hacking group.

He said there had been subsequent attacks directed at lawmakers, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) of Chancellor Angela Merkel, and other party-affiliated institutions, but it was unclear if they had resulted in the loss of data.

"Our counterpart is trying to generate information that can be used for disinformation or for influence operations," he told a conference in Potsdam, near Berlin. "Whether they do it or not is a political decision ... that I assume will be made in the Kremlin."

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Madeline Chambers)