German MPs Reportedly Targeted by Russian Backed Hackers

Suspected Russian state-backed hackers who were known to have run disinformation campaigns against NATO have targeted German MPs.

The campaign against the German parliament was dubbed “Ghostwriter,” and was believed to be influenced by Russia’s military intelligence service (GRU).

According to Der Spiegel and WDR, the hackers used spear-phishing e-mails to target the parliament members who were members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Social Democratic Party (SPD).

At least seven members of Bundestag fell victim to the campaign, along with 31 state legislators.

The news outlets said that the attacks happened recently but were immediately detected by the domestic intelligence agency (BFV) and Federal Office for Information Security (BSI).

It is not yet known what data was stolen by the hackers but some email accounts were breached.

Cybersecurity firm FireEye said Ghostwriter has been running since 2017  and targeted the Baltic states and Poland to create mistrust with NATO. 

FireEye added that Ghostwriter’s activities were not limited to breaching accounts but also compromising news website content management systems (CMS) to manipulate content, spreading doctored correspondence from military officials, fake quotes from political figures, and more.

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