Germany could face an increased threat of cyberattacks on its critical infrastructure, political and military institutions, and businesses, the national intelligence agency has warned in a safety note on the war in Ukraine.
“As a reaction to the most recent sanctions and promises of military assistance on the part of Germany, there is a growing risk of Russian cyberattacks against German targets, including businesses,” states the note sent to business representatives.
According to the agency, “activities on the part of very different groups in cyberspace” have increasingly been reported since Russia launched its attack on Ukraine on 24 February.
Based on “repeated recent attacks” against German targets by hacker group Ghostwriter, which Russia allegedly controls, that have been recorded since the start of March, the service estimates that Russian groups, in particular, pose a threat.
Companies that are part of the critical infrastructure and political and military institutions could be targeted, the agency warns. “Russian services definitely have the necessary capabilities and tools to sabotage these areas significantly and lastingly,” the letter reads.
The agency also warned that Russia was increasingly supplementing its military action with a disinformation campaign in which “public communication channels continuously spread pro-Russian and anti-Western narratives and fake news.”
According to the letter, cyberattacks could be part of this strategy by launching so-called “hack and publish operations,” in which online news portals or the social media accounts of media and journalists are hacked and used to spread false information.
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