Attempted Cyber Attack on German Parliament Prevented By Defenses

Media Division | March 29, 2017

As more and more cyber attacks target various political organizations all over the world, it continues to become an issue of growing concern.  Cyber attacks upon these types of organizations and systems could have a wide range of extremely damaging effects.  Whether the attack is to purloin intelligence or funds, influence processes, or damage infrastructure, all of these can be detrimental to a country.  Fortunately, there are many attacks that are prevented as well, which is the case in a recent attack on German parliament.

Details of the Incident

It was discovered that cyber attacks in January had attempted to piggyback on an Israeli newspaper site for the purpose of targeting German politicians.  It appeared that the hackers had employed advertisements on the Jerusalem Post website which would redirect users to malicious sites.  According to the Munich daily, at least 10 German lawmakers from various parliamentary groups had been affected by the attempted hack.  But a statement from the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), had said that cyber defenses put in place after a previous parliament hack in 2015 assisted in averting the breach.  After completing the technical analysis, BSI had said, “BSI found no malware or infections as part of its analysis of the Bundestag networks.”

According to Reuters, the Jerusalem Post had confirmed the details of the incident, but they had stated that no malware came from their own website, and it is fully protected against such attacks in the future.  According to a statement from the publisher, “The Jerusalem Post website was attacked in January by foreign hackers,” and they further said, “We immediately took action and together with Israeli cyber authorities successfully neutralized the threat.”

The Growing Concern for Political Cyber Attacks in Germany

This method of employed infected advertisements can be used to affect typically safe or secure websites.  It is known as “malvertising,” and it appears they make it to the site via some third party advertising network.  According to a security expert, Graham Cluley, this type of “spear phishing” through malicious ads is unusual but possible.

This attack comes during a time of growing concern in Germany in regard to cyber security, as there have been reports that Russia potentially seeks to interfere in the national September elections, and is working to destabilize Germany’s government.  It is not believed that this attack was perpetrated by APT28, also known as Fancy Bear, which is the group believed to be behind the parliament attack in 2015, as well as the hacking of the United States Election in 2016.  Unfortunately, cyber attacks that use clever methods like this are often able to slip under the radar, so it is commendable that Germany had properly secured their networks and systems after the previous attack.

Applying Proper Cyber Security to Prevent Cyber Attacks

There is a wide range of methods and tools that attackers can use to attempt to breach networks and systems.  Attackers continue to become increasingly more clever every single day, which is why cyber security must stay ahead of these threats.  There can be numerous vectors from which a threat can attack, and an organization has to ensure they are all secured.  A single cyber attack of significant severity could be the downfall of an organization, and formidable cyber security is what can thwart these attacks.  Massive Alliance offers a wide array of cyber security services that can help an organization to prevent cyber attacks.

Massive's Media Division publishes timely news and insights based on current events, trends, and actionable cross-industry expertise.