Germany: Merkel denounces Russian cyber attacks

Angela Merkel deplored Wednesday “scandalous” attempts at Russian hacking having targeted her in the past at the German chancellery and affirmed that they weighed on her efforts of rapprochement with Moscow.

“I can honestly say that it hurts me. Every day I try to have better relations with Russia and, on the other hand, there is such tangible evidence that the Russian forces are doing this, “said the Chancellor to the members of the Bundestag, the Lower House of Parliament.

M me Merkel was referring to a cyber attack which had targeted in 2015 both the Chamber of deputies and his services.

The Bundestag was then the victim of a massive cyber attack, attributed to the GRU, the Russian military intelligence.

The hackers had obtained in parallel with this cyber attack, according to German media, personal data on a message from the Chancellor over the period from 19 at 2015.

According to M me Merkel, a suspect was identified by the investigators in this case. An arrest warrant at the request of the German federal prosecution has indeed recently been issued against an alleged hacker, Dimitri Badin, also wanted by the FBI, according to the weekly Der Spiegel .

He is notably suspected of having participated in the hacking of the democratic campaign in the presidential election of 2016 in the United States and of having carried out actions against the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

“We always reserve the right to take action, including against Russia,” warned the Chancellor, who spoke of an “outrageous” act.

“This is a whole strategy that is being applied” by Russia, including the “distortion of the facts”, said M me Merkel. In this context, “of course it is not easy” to continue trying to build a better relationship with Moscow, she added.

This type of case “obviously disrupts any cooperation based on trust,” said me Merkel.

The Chancellor also mentioned the murder in Berlin in 2019 of a Georgian of Chechen origin in which the German justice suspects the Russian services of being implied .

This case had triggered a diplomatic crisis between Germany and Russia: two members of the Russian embassy, ​​whom the German government accused of not “cooperating” in the investigation, had to leave German territory on December 4 2019.

The alleged killer was arrested immediately after the murder, but, warned Ms. me Merkel, “we are still trying to find” possible accomplices.

Washington accuses Beijing of hacking its research

Washington – The United States accused China on Wednesday of trying to hack into American research on a vaccine against the new coronavirus, a new escalation between Washington and Beijing. “The health, pharmaceutical and research sectors working on COVID responses – 19 must all be aware that they are the first targets of this activity and take the necessary measures to protect their systems, ”warned the federal police and the cybersecurity agency in an official warning. “China's attempts to target these sectors pose a serious threat to our country's response to COVID – 19,” they said. The FBI specifies in particular that it “investigates” “non-traditional cyber actors and informants affiliated with the People's Republic of China” suspected of wanting to steal elements protected by intellectual property in connection with research on a vaccine, on treatments, but also on the screening tests for the disease.

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