Germany Summons Russian Ambassador Over Hacking Of Its Parliament

3 mins read
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Germany summoned Russia’s ambassador Sergei Nechayev to its Foreign Ministry on May 28, accusing a government-sponsored Russian hacker of an infamous cyber attack that targeted the German parliament (Bundestag) in 2015. The suspect is also wanted by the FBI for the DNC hack before the 2016 US presidential election.

German officials told Nechayev that they concluded a Russian national named Dmitry Badin was the main perpetrator behind a 2015 hacking attack on the Bundestag, while he was serving in Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency.

The Russian ambassador was also informed that Germany was planning to call for European Union (EU) sanctions against the cyber criminals responsible for the parliament attack, including Badin.

On May 5, 2020, an arrest warrant was issued against Badin by the German Attorney General, which claims that Badin is part of a hacker group called the APT28 (or Fancy Bear), considered to be a GRU unit.

Badin acted with other individuals to carry out “an intelligence operation against Germany for the intelligence service of a foreign power,” German prosecutors say.

The German parliament hack happened five years ago, when attackers posing as the United Nations (UN) sent an email using the domain name “@un.org” to members of the German parliament and the office of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, including her parliamentary email account. The email titled “Ukraine conflict with Russia leaves economy in ruins” installed malware on the receivers’ computers.

Badin Also Implicated In US Democratic Party Hack

In recent weeks, Merkel threatened Russia with consequences for the 2015 attack, saying there was “hard evidence” proving Moscow’s involvement in the “outrageous” cyberattack.

“I can honestly say that it hurts me. On the one hand, I try to improve relations with Russia on a daily basis, and when then, on the other hand, we see that there is hard evidence that Russian forces are operating in such a way, then we are working in a field of tension, which is something that — despite the desire for good relations with Russia — I cannot completely erase from my heart,” Merkel said, responding to questions in parliament.

Russia has repeatedly denied that it was behind the 2015 hacking attack.

Badin was also wanted by the United States as a suspect in several hacking attacks by APT28, including the hack of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the notorious Democratic National Committee (DNC) hack that dealt a major blow to the campaign of Democratic Party’s presidential candidate Hillary Clinton when the leaked emails were published by WikiLeaks ahead of the 2016 US election.

He is “alleged to have been a Russian military intelligence officer, assigned to Unit 26165,” according to FBI documents. He was born in the Russian city of Kursk in 1990.

G. Hilal Aygun (Stellmach) is a journalist with 10 years of professional experience in the field. She also practiced as a lawyer for two years prior to her career in journalism. She founded NOVO Gazette to create a platform for independent journalism. You can follow her Twitter account: @MyRedSelf

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