German MPs Hit by Russian-Backed Phishing Attacks

German lawmakers have been targeted once again by phishing attacks reportedly linked to Russian intelligence services.

Local reports claimed yesterday that seven members of the Bundestag and 31 members of the state parliament had their inboxes compromised, although these appear to have been personal rather than official accounts.

The phishing emails were spoofed to appear as if urgent messages sent by providers GMX and T-Online.

The politicians belong to governing parties the CDU/CSU and SPD.

Political activists in Hamburg and Bremen were also attacked, according to Der Spiegel.

It’s unclear whether any sensitive information was leaked as a result of the attacks. The report claimed that the campaign has been attributed to a GRU-linked group known as “Ghostwriter.”

Ghostwriter operations in the past have been mainly focused on creating and disseminating online propaganda designed to turn people, especially in eastern Europe and the Baltic, against the US and NATO.

Previous fake news stories created by the group included the supposed desecration of a Jewish cemetery by German NATO soldiers in Lithuania, and a Lithuanian child that had been ‘run over’ by a NATO tank.

The group also uses photos, fabricated letters and other documents to try and add legitimacy to its outlandish claims.

The attack on the lawmakers calls to mind a 2015 raid by suspected Russian hackers that resulted in the loss of 16GB of data, after Trojan malware was implanted on parliamentary computers.

German politicians have also been snooped on in the past by NSA eavesdroppers, according to reports.

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