The Federal Ministry of the Interior does not want to comment on reports of alleged preparations for large-scale cyber attacks by Russia with the help of private software companies. A spokeswoman for the ministry said on Friday in Berlin that she could not comment on that. In general, she only said: “The security authorities assess the level of danger as high”, the authorities work closely together to analyze the corresponding dangers and to adapt to them. “We have confirmed in the past that attacks are taking place, but without any reference to current reporting,” added the spokeswoman.

According to research by several media outlets, Russia has prepared large-scale cyber attacks with the help of private software companies. Confidential documents are said to show that the Moscow IT company NTC Vulkan developed tools with which state hackers could plan cyber attacks, filter Internet traffic and spread mass propaganda and disinformation, like the research group, including the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, “Der Spiegel ” and the ZDF, reported. According to reports, however, German security authorities still have no knowledge of attacks that have already taken place by the Moscow company.

Germany in focus

“The revelations of the “Vulkan Files” show once again that Germany is the focus of Russian secret services,” Green Party leader Omid Nouripour told the German Press Agency. It has long been clear that the energy supply, telecommunications and other parts of the critical infrastructure are the focus of attackers and are not adequately protected. “So far, the Ministry of the Interior has delivered too little,” criticized the co-party leader. Massive investments in IT security and the protection of the critical infrastructure as well as better positioning of the police and intelligence services for counter-espionage are urgently needed.

Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) told the “Spiegel” that the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) should in future be given more powers to protect against cyber attacks as a central office. In addition, the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) “must be an authority that recognizes cyber attacks at an early stage and can also stop them”. The BKA has a great deal of expertise, which has already been shown “through excellently networked investigations against Darknet platforms worldwide”. For a corresponding change, an amendment to the Basic Law would be necessary, she conceded.