German Parliament Hack Is Still Gathering Data

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Germany, Brandenburg Gate © S.Borisov Shutterstock 2012
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A cyber-attack on German parliament computers a month ago is reportedly still active and stealing data

The lower house of the German parliament suffered a damaging cyber attack on its computer network last month, but media reports in the country suggest hackers are still stealing data from Bundestag computers.

The assault in May was carried out on the internal server of the German parliament, according to reports. From there malware managed to infect many of the 20,000 computers used by politicians, support staff and civil servants on the Parlakom network.

Ongoing Attack

At this stage it is not clear who carried out the attack, and German investigators are reportedly looking into the scope of the attack to see how much data has been taken. The attack was so serious that the clear up could cost millions of euros and involve replacing or wiping computers.

German spy surveillance NSA © gubh83 Shutterstock“This is the biggest cyber-attack on the Bund, on the German parliament,” Bernhard Kaster, secretary of the Christian Democratic Union and Christian Social Union political bloc, told Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

But to make matter worse, it seems that the attack may not even be over.

According to German publication Der Spiegel, which cited a parliamentary as its source,  the malware was still “active” and stealing data from infected machines.

Political Attacks

This is not the first time that hackers have targeted the political establishment with their cyber attacks.

In April this year, US government sources said that the hackers who had attacked the White House’s computer systems, as well as the State Department’s email system last October, were “likely working for the Russian government”.

In response to the ongoing attacks, President Obama recently created a US sanctions program to financially punish individuals and groups outside the United States who are involved with malicious cyber attacks.

The US has previously “named and shamed” a number of countries for allegedly carrying out cyber attacks. Last year for example, the US took the unprecedented step of filing criminal indictments against members of Unit 61398 of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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