“We have evidence that cyber-attacks are taking place that have no purpose other than to elicit political uncertainty.”
Bruno Kahl — BND Head (December 2016)
December 11 2016 — Bruno Kahl, president of the Bundesnachrichtendienst, has warned that next year’s general election (2017) could be targeted by Russian hackers. UPDATE — In February 2017, The Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) and the Federal Office for Constitutional Protection (BfV) admitted that they had found no such evidence. Go figure!?! Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY
UPDATE (December 11 2018) — This is a truly bizarre story. In December 2016, German Intelligence Agencies issued various statements regarding Russia. Then, they actually conducted an investigation searching for clear evidence of Russia’s political interference in Germany. And in the end, they admitted having found none.
In December 2016, BfV chief Hans-Georg Maassen accused Moscow of trying to destabilize Germany via cyberattacks and propaganda ahead of the 2017 elections.
Bruno Kahl, president of the Bundesnachrichtendienst, has warned that the next general election would be targeted by Russian hackers.
In his first interview since he was appointed five months earlier, Kahl told the Süddeutsche Zeitung: “We have evidence that cyber-attacks are taking place that have no purpose other than to elicit political uncertainty.”
Then, in February 2017, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) and the Federal Office for Constitutional Protection (BfV) stated that they had found no evidence of such acts orchestrated by the Russian government or its intelligence agencies.
“Russian President Vladimir Putin is not deliberately trying to undermine Chancellor Angela Merkel ahead of her impending re-election campaign – or at least, if he is, he is hiding his tracks well.
That’s the inconclusive conclusion that Germany’s foreign and domestic intelligence agencies came to last fall, following several months of investigation which was delivered to Merkel’s chief-of-staff Peter Altmaier in the form of a 50-page report.” [DW]
The German security agencies were initially planning to disclose — at least partially — their findings. Given the lack of evidence, the 50-page paper was however not published.
I am at loss to comprehend why German Intelligence Agencies first accused Russia, then investigated the facts and finally reported no evidence of Russian disinformation campaign.
This much is certain. Hans-Georg Maassen was sacked and forced to retirement in November 2018. And I am not at all convinced that Bruno Kahl will keep his job in the long run. Stay tuned!
END of UPDATE
December 11 2016 — 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.”
“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 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”.
MI6 Alex Younger & BND Bruno Kahl: Russian Hackers Will Target European 2017 Elections
Two Years Ago — MI6 Alex Younger & BND Bruno Kahl : “Russian Hackers Will Target European 2017 Elections”