From the smallest business to the largest government, no one is safe from cyber attack as was yet again highlighted this week when news surfaced that a suspected Russian-backed hacking group called Snake carried out a hack on the German government’s foreign and defense miniseries and stole data.
According to Germany's domestic intelligence agency, Snake first surfaced in 2005 and uses “a very complex and high quality software” that also goes by the name Uroburos or Turla. In fact, the complexity of the attack stunned the authorities.
The hack was uncovered back in December, but news only broke this week—much to the annoyance of several politicians who only learned of it via the press. And it could have been going on for a least a year before it was sniffed out. Government sources were quick to divert attention away from the incident saying it is ongoing and public discussions on the details would warn the hackers.
German media reported that the breach was allowed to continue so investigators could gather information about the scope and the targets of the attack, and its initiators.
The dpa news agency reported that the attackers entered government networks through a training academy for civil servants, then carefully made their way into other parts of the system.
The incident of course raises questions about the German government's network security. This is the second such attack in three years making critics think cybersecurity in the fatherland is lagging. In 2015 the APT28—the hacking group initially thought to be behind this recent malware attack—was accused of hacking German state computer systems in the Bundestag and stealing 16 gigabytes of data.
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