Germany says 'acute threat' of hack averted after detection

BERLIN — A German security official says the immediate threat posed by a cyberattack on the government’s secure computer network was averted soon after it was detected.

Following a report by news agency dpa on Wednesday, the government acknowledged its network had been infiltrated but downplayed the possible harm done.

Germany’s dpa news agency reported that investigators believe a Russian group known as Snake hacked into Germany’s foreign and defense ministries, and that it managed to steal data. (Michael Kappeler/dpa via AP)
Hack of German government network caused considerable damage

News of the hack broke Wednesday with a report from German news agency dpa, and committee members expressed outrage that they first learned of the attack, discovered in December, from the media.

Johannes Dimroth, a spokesman for the interior ministry, told reporters Friday that “a certain period of monitoring” of the attack took place by German authorities but that “the acute danger was averted soon after it became known.”

He declined to comment on reports that a Russian-backed hacker group called Snake was behind the attack.

Dimroth said authorities are trying to determine who tipped the media about the attack. Lawmakers expressed anger at not having been informed by the government before news broke.

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