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German help against Moscow's cyber attacks should remain secret


In May, the federal government publicly announced that Ukraine would be armed against Russian cyber attacks. However, Berlin wants to keep the details of the IT protection aid absolutely secret.

Enlarge image

Employees of an Internet operator in Kyiv: a permanent target of the Russian hacker army

Photo: Valentyn Ogirenko / REUTERS

According to SPIEGEL information, the federal government continues to keep parts of the aid for Ukraine in the fight against Russia secret.

In May, Federal Digital Minister Volker Wissing, FDP, announced that hardware and know-how to defend against Russian cyber attacks would be supplied to Ukraine.

"This is also a war on the Internet and that is why Ukraine must also be defended on the Internet," said Wissing at the sidelines of a meeting of the G7 digital ministers.

At the time, the announcement seemed logical, after all, even before the war began on February 24, Ukraine was repeatedly the victim of serious cyber attacks attributed to Russia.

Years before the war began, Russian hackers even managed to shut down the power supply in the capital, Kyiv.

Later, banks and Ukrainian government websites were also victims of virtual attacks.

Despite Ukraine's undisputed need, the federal government is more than taciturn about the details of its cyber assistance.

A few weeks ago, when CSU MP Reinhard Brandl asked which systems had been delivered to improve cyber defense, Wissing refused to provide any information.

The disclosure, wrote State Secretary Daniela Kluckert, could have “significant adverse effects on cooperation with foreign intelligence services”.

She even refused to deposit details in the secret protection agency of the Bundestag.

Government fears repercussions from disclosure

In the special rooms, the federal government had informed the deputies, for example, about the arms deliveries to Ukraine.

Selected politicians are allowed to see secret papers there, but not even handwritten notes are allowed.

Initially, the traffic light coalition had classified all arms deliveries to Ukraine as secret.

It was only a good two weeks ago that the Chancellery decided to make the complete list of weapons that had already been delivered public.

There is no help to protect against cyber attacks.

CSU man Brandl reacts to the secrecy about the cyber protection aid by shaking his head.

“It is surprising that Digital Minister Wissing, of all people, does not even want to tell us about his Ukraine aid in secret, after all, the FDP wanted to see every single cartridge delivered published in the arms deliveries,” says Brandl.

Security circles said that the details of the IT assistance had to remain secret, otherwise Russia would be able to calculate how well Ukraine's cyber defense system is set up and how new attacks should be directed.

It is also somewhat more cumbersome to read about the refusal of MP Brandl.

There it says that the publication of details about the IT help allows conclusions to be drawn about the "orientation and technical skills of foreign partner services".

This could have "considerable adverse effects on the trusting cooperation with foreign intelligence services".


Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2022-07-01

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