Security Experts:

Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



German Election Authority Confirms Likely Cyber Attack

Suspected hackers last month briefly disrupted the website of the authority running Germany’s September 26 general election, a spokesman for the body told AFP Wednesday.

Suspected hackers last month briefly disrupted the website of the authority running Germany’s September 26 general election, a spokesman for the body told AFP Wednesday.

The development, first reported by Business Insider, comes as German federal prosecutors probe alleged cyber attacks against lawmakers during the campaign to choose a new parliament and a successor to Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“At the end of August the website of the Federal Returning Officer only had limited accessibility for a few minutes due to a malfunction,” the spokesman said when asked about the hacking report.

“The problem was analysed and the technical concepts were further developed accordingly. The information for the public through the website of the Federal Returning Officer was and is ensured.”

Business Insider reported that the website, which publishes the official results of the vote, was bombarded with data requests in a so-called distributed denial of service attack, leading the servers to break down.

Citing government sources, it said that IT systems necessary for the election itself to go off smoothly were not affected, possibly due to extra protections in place.

The federal prosecutor’s office said last week it had opened “an investigation on suspicion of espionage” over accusations made by the German government about “phishing” attacks against MPs by Russian intelligence.

Berlin has pointed the finger at hackers from Russia’s “Ghostwriter” group which reportedly specialises in spreading disinformation.

German intelligence believes they have been trying to gain access to the private email accounts of federal and regional MPs and says Russia’s military intelligence service GRU is behind the attacks.

The European Union and United States have repeatedly accused Moscow of attempting to meddle in democratic elections, something the Kremlin has disputed.

Related: Germany Protests to Russia Over Pre-Election Cyberattacks

Related: EU Slaps Sanctions on 2 Russians Over Germany Cyberattack

Related: ‘Russian Hackers’ Again Target German MPs: Report

Related: Germany Confronts Russian Ambassador Over Cyberattack

Written By

AFP 2023

Click to comment

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

Join this webinar to learn best practices that organizations can use to improve both their resilience to new threats and their response times to incidents.


Join this live webinar as we explore the potential security threats that can arise when third parties are granted access to a sensitive data or systems.


Expert Insights

Related Content


Zendesk is informing customers about a data breach that started with an SMS phishing campaign targeting the company’s employees.


The release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in late 2022 has demonstrated the potential of AI for both good and bad.


Satellite TV giant Dish Network confirmed that a recent outage was the result of a cyberattack and admitted that data was stolen.


The changing nature of what we still generally call ransomware will continue through 2023, driven by three primary conditions.


No one combatting cybercrime knows everything, but everyone in the battle has some intelligence to contribute to the larger knowledge base.

Application Security

PayPal is alerting roughly 35,000 individuals that their accounts have been targeted in a credential stuffing campaign.


WASHINGTON - Cyberattacks are the most serious threat facing the United States, even more so than terrorism, according to American defense experts. Almost half...


A recently disclosed vBulletin vulnerability, which had a zero-day status for roughly two days last week, was exploited in a hacker attack targeting the...