Germany has no evidence of Bundestag attack, says Russia

Germany has no evidence of Bundestag attack, says Russia Cybersecurity

Russian officials said this week that German authorities had failed to produce evidence that Russian military pirates had hacked into the German parliament in 2015.

The statement relates to an arrest warrant that Germany released in late May when it charged a Russian hacker named Dmitriy Sergeyevich Badin.

German prosecutors said Badin was a member of a hacker group named APT28 (Fancy Bear, Sofacy, Strontium, Grizzly Steppe), which hacked into the German Parliament (Bundestag) in the first half of 2015, via software installation malicious and theft of government documents.

Investigators said they identified one of the hackers as Badin, a member of Unit 26165, part of the Russian Intelligence Directorate General (GRU), the military intelligence agency of the Russian armed forces.

On the day they issued an arrest warrant, the German authorities also summoned the Russian ambassador and informed him of the charges.

However, in an interview with the Russian news agency RIA on Thursday, Vladimir Titov, Russia’s first deputy foreign minister, said that more than a month after the arrest warrant was issued, the German authorities have not provided no evidence of Badin’s involvement in the hacking, necessary to support an extradition request.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made a similar observation last month, also confirming that Russia has still not received any formal evidence to support the charges.

“Lavrov is correct when he says that the German foreign ministry did not share the arrest warrant for Badin with the Russian ambassador,” Stefan Soesanto, cyber defense researcher at the Center for Security Studies, told ZDNet. the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich.

“There was also no formal extradition request from the Germans for Badin,” said Soesanto, who is closely monitoring the case.

The Swiss cybersecurity researcher believes that the charges are most likely a facade and a smart cover in a more refined geopolitical conflict.

“Overall, the positions are pretty clear,” Soesanto told ZDNet. “Moscow will never extradite Badin – as this would violate the constitution of Russia (Article 61), and Berlin is keen to push for EU sanctions rather than bring Badin before a German court to discuss the seriousness of the IT security at the Bundestag. “

Soesanto also points out that it is unclear whether German officials have enough evidence to convict Badin in a German court.

Although Badin has also been charged in the United States with similar charges of hacking into American entities, his case or guilt is not as clear in the United States.

Under international treaties and under international law, Badin is an intelligence agent, allowing him to avoid prosecution for his actions, as long as he acts at the request of his state. This appears to have been the case in Badin’s participation in the 2015 Bundestag hack.

Experts pointed out that Washington was well aware of all this and that its charges against APT28 were going nowhere, but the United States used the charges to impose a series of sanctions on Russia. Germany here seems to choose a similar approach.



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