German officials have confirmed on Wednesday that hackers have breached their government’s information technology networks in an isolated attack which has been brought under control.
Earlier German news agencies has reported that hackers have infiltrated Germany’s foreign and defense ministries networks in December and stole data. There were also speculations about Russian linked hacking group APT 28, or Fancy Bear is behind the attack.
“The attack was isolated and brought under control within the federal administration,” which oversees government computer networks, also added that the authorities were addressing the incident “with high priority and significant resources,” said the government spokesman in a statement.
According to reports, the German officials were aware of the issue. They allowed the malicious program to keep running to monitor hackers activity.
The Defence Ministry and the German military were not affected significant data was transmitted.
The same APT 28 group was blamed for the attack on the German parliament in 2015 and attack on the Democratic National Committee ahead of the 2016 US elections.
“We can confirm that the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) and intelligence services are investigating a cyber-security incident concerning the federal government’s information technology and networks,” a German interior ministry spokesman said on Wednesday.
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The ministry did not confirm whether the foreign and defense ministries were affected by the attack.
The spokesperson also refused to comment on the involvement of APT 28 group behind the attack and gave no further details of the attack as the investigation was still ongoing.