Saturday, September 2, 2017

German security authorities warn against cyber-attacks on upcoming election

German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) voiced fears on Friday that German national elections in September could become a target of cyber attacks.

Aside from hacking sensitive candidate and party data, the biggest threat posed by cyber criminal activities was that "perpetrators could try to attack the IT-systems which are used for the election," BSI president Arne Schoenbohm told the magazine Spiegel.

The warning comes only three weeks before Germany choose a new Federal Parliament (Bundestag). In particular, Schoenbohm expressed worry that doubts could be sown over the legitimacy of the national election.

The BSI president noted that the use of paper forms for the election provided Germany with a degree of security.

He stressed, however, that "offenders could also try to undermine citizens' trust in the vote after parliamentary elections by spreading false rumours about irregularities." It could not be ruled out that data stolen from the Federal Parliament by hackers back in 2015 could be published before the vote on September 24, or that new attacks would be launched on public institutions until then.

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