Russia may have been responsible for a recent hack that targeted the internal server of the Bundestag, the German national legislature, according to the German daily Der Spiegel.
In May of this year, federal IT experts first discovered the hack when they discovered that two computers connected to Bundestag’s internal server had been infected with malware and were trying to connect to a server in Eastern Europe.
Further investigation revealed that additional computers had been compromised using Trojan malware, which granted the hackers access to the Bundestag’s systems.
For safety reasons, several parts of the Bundestag server were shut down to prevent the infection from spreading, reveals Der Spiegel. As of this writing, network access at the national German legislature has yet to fully return to normal.
In the meantime, the investigation is still ongoing. The IT response team is still unsure about what data the hackers stole, how sensitive the data is, and how long the malware has been installed on the infected machines.
“The impact of the cyber attack on the Bundestag is worse than previously thought,” said Greens politician Steffi Lemke. “This attack reveals the Interior Ministry has completely missed out on establishing a functioning cyber defense.”
Officials from the Bundestag originally stated that the work appeared to be too sophisticated for amateurs or hobbyists, suggesting that the hack may have occurred as part of a state-sponsored attack.
Now it is believed that Russia may have been responsible. As reported by The Register, IT experts involved with the investigation have had a chance to review the malware’s source code, which has led them to believe that the Kremlin was involved in the hack.
The Trojan also apparently resembles malware that was used in a 2014 attack on a German data network.
This is not the first time the Bundestag has been targeted by hackers. Back in January of this year, both the Bundestag and the Chancellery came under attack and experienced service interruptions for several hours.
A pro-Russian hacker group in the Ukraine eventually claimed responsibility for the incident.
Russia is known to have committed state-sponsored attacks in the past, including a hack against the United States State Department and White House last year.