MI6 Alex Younger & BND Bruno Kahl: Russian Hackers Will Target European 2017 Elections

“We have evidence that cyber-attacks are taking place that have no purpose other than to elicit political uncertainty.”

Bruno Kahl -BND Head

kahlbruno

Bruno Kahl, president of the Bundesnachrichtendienst, has warned that next year’s general election could be targeted by Russian hackers.

In Germany, Bruno Kahl, president of the Bundesnachrichtendienst, has warned that next year’s general election could be targeted by Russian hackers.

“We have evidence that cyber-attacks are taking place that have no purpose other than to elicit political uncertainty,” he told the Süddeutsche Zeitung in his first interview since he was appointed five months ago.

“The perpetrators are interested in delegitimising the democratic process as such, regardless of who that ends up helping. We have indications that [the attacks] come from the Russian region.

“Being able to attribute it to a state agent is technically difficult but there is some evidence that this is at least tolerated or desired by the state.”

Hans-Georg Maaßen, president of the domestic BfV intelligence agency, said in an interview that cyberspace had become “a place of hybrid warfare” in which Russia was a key player.

In the UK, Alex Younger, said cyber-attacks, propaganda and subversion from hostile states pose a “fundamental threat” to European democracies, including the UK. Although Alex Younger does not name specific country, he makes clear that Russia is target of his remarks

The internet has turned the work of the intelligence services on its head. It represents “an existential threat” as well as an opportunity.

RELATE POST: Who Is Who in World Intelligence and Security Agencies : MI6 Alex Younger

RELATE POST: UK’s Intelligence Agencies

“The connectivity that is at the heart of globalisation can be exploited by states with hostile intent to further their aims deniably.”

“They do this through means as varied as cyber-attacks, propaganda or subversion of democratic process. Our job is to give the government the information advantage: to shine a light on these activities and help our country and our allies, in particular across Europe, build the resilience they need to protect themselves.”

“The risks at stake are profound and represent a fundamental threat to our sovereignty. They should be a concern to all those who share democratic values.”

In the US, Intelligence Agencies claim to have evidence that Russia was behind the leaking of information from the Democratic party that undermined Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Senators are pushing for the White House to have any such intelligence declassified. Russia has denied any such involvement.

However, the FBI appears to disagree for a simple reason: there is NO evidence.

“The competing messages, according to officials in attendance, also reflect cultural differences between the FBI and the CIA. The bureau, true to its law enforcement roots, wants facts and tangible evidence to prove something beyond all reasonable doubt. The CIA is more comfortable drawing inferences from behavior.”  [WashingtonPost]

In Europe, a report published this month by the Atlantic Council on Russian Influence on France, Germany and the UK, pointed to an extensive Russian “disinformation campaign” being carried out in Germany, which it said had “opened opportunities for the Kremlin to influence German politics and the public debate”.

REFERENCES

Terrorism most immediate threat to UK, says MI6 — BBC News

Hostile states pose ‘fundamental threat’ to Europe, says MI6 chief — The Guardian

German spy chief says Russian hackers could disrupt elections — The Guardian

FBI and CIA give differing accounts to lawmakers on Russia’s motives in 2016 hacks — Washington Post

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