Germany accuses Russia of 2023 cyber attack and promises ‘consequences’ News
madartzgraphics / Pixabay
Germany accuses Russia of 2023 cyber attack and promises ‘consequences’

Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has accused Russia of a cyber attack that occurred in 2023. In a Friday press conference, Baerbock said the attack was “completely unacceptable and will not remain without consequences.”

Baerbock, in a speech at a press conference with the Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs, declared that the “serious cyber attack against the members of the Social Democratic Party” in 2023 was carried out by the APT28 group. The Federal Government, under leadership of the Federal Foreign Office, investigated the attack and attributed it to this group, who are controlled by the Russian military intelligence service GRU.

The Russian embassy in Berlin denied these accusations. In a statement on X (formerly Twitter), the Russian embassy stated that their ambassador was summoned to the federal foreign office on May 3rd, where they were accused of the 2023 cyber attack. The Russian embassy emphasized that they “strongly denied these allegations” and said that they lacked evidence. They further stated that “the embassy views this as yet another unfriendly step aimed at creating anti-Russian sentiment in Germany, which will lead to a deterioration of Russo-German relations.”

The attacks were condemned by the US State Department as “malicious.” The US have previously sanctioned actors associated with APT28 for their involvement in a “range of malign cyber activity.” They criticized Russia’s disregard of the UN Framework for Responsible State Behavior in Cyberspace and expressed their support for Germany:

The United States is committed to the security of our allies and partners and upholding the rules-based international order, including in cyberspace.  We call on Russia to stop this malicious activity and abide by its international commitments and obligations.  With the EU and our NATO Allies, we will continue to take action to disrupt Russia’s cyber activities, protect our citizens and foreign partners, and hold malicious actors accountable.

Recent cyber attacks on Czechia have also been attributed to APT28. NATO affirmed their solidarity with both countries in a statement from the North Atlantic Council. They noted that Russian military organizations had also conducted cyber attacks on Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Sweden and condemned these “malicious cyber activities intended to undermine our democratic institutions, national security and free society.”  NATO affirmed they are dedicated to “countering the substantial, continuous and increasing cyber threat” and called on all states to “respect their international obligations and commitments to uphold international law.”