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Russia Blamed for Data Stealing Attack on German Parliament

German investigators are pointing the finger at Russia for a recent malware intrusion into the Bundestag’s computer network which exposed the accounts of all lawmakers including chancellor Angela Merkel’s.

German newspaper Der Spiegel claimed to have heard from “multiple sources familiar with the case” that the security authorities now have a clear idea who was behind the attack nearly a month ago.

The trojan found by investigators is said to resemble malware which featured in a 2014 attack on an unnamed German data network, also thought to have been state sponsored.

Last week the German lower house confirmed that hackers had managed to steal data during the attack, although it didn’t specify what these “scattered data outflows” might be.

“Parlakom," as it is known, hosts around 20,000 accounts including all of Germany’s MPs, representing a major target for nation states on the prowl for information that could give them a geopolitical advantage.

It’s not the first time the nation’s parliament has come under attack this year.

The attack at the beginning of January took out several government and Bundestag websites including Angela Merkel’s homepage for several hours.

Back then, Ukrainian prime minister, Arseny Yatseniuk, blamed Russia for the attack, which came ahead of his meeting with chancellor Merkel.

Russia certainly has motive for snooping on Germany, given its ongoing dispute with Ukraine. It’s also been fingered multiple times over the past few years for probable state-sponsored incursions.

However, it’s not just the Russians German parliamentarians have to fear when it comes to unlawful cyber espionage.

Last year, reports claimed that lawmakers were even considering a return to using typewriters in a desperate attempt to foil their cyber foes, as the country was rocked by several NSA spy scandals including the alleged tapping of Merkel’s smartphone by the US agency.

Early last month the chancellor was said to have ordered intelligence agency Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) to stop sending the NSA information culled from surveillance efforts, as the cooling of relations between Germany and the US continued.

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