Substation in Brandenburg: The German power grid is said to be the target of the Russian secret service
Photo: Christophe Gateau / dpa
The Federal Public Prosecutor has apparently issued an arrest warrant against a Russian hacker who hacked an important subsidiary of the electricity group EnBW.
This emerges from research by WDR and BR, reported on by Tagesschau.de.
Pawel A. is said to have successfully penetrated the network of Netcom BW in the summer of 2017, which, according to the media report, is responsible, among other things, for routing important internal power supply data via a secure network.
He and his accomplices are said to have had the opportunity to access the Internet traffic of Netcom BW via a weak point in the routers.
The Baden-Württemberg State Criminal Police Office has apparently been investigating the espionage operation for years.
The Federal Public Prosecutor finally issued an arrest warrant against Pawel A. in 2021, who is said to be part of the hacker group "Berserk Bear".
According to the US Department of Justice, the group is part of the "Center 16" department of the Russian secret service FSB.
The hacker squad specializes in attacks against infrastructure companies, especially electricity and water suppliers.
The hackers are said to try to gain internal access with manipulated websites and thus spy on networks of companies in the so-called critical infrastructure.
According to a report by the specialist portal Cyberscoop, German security authorities were already warning internally of "Berserk Bear" as early as 2020.
150 companies are said to have been affected by the wave of attacks.
However, it is unclear in how many cases these attacks were successful.
The hackers are also said to have tried to hack the energy supplier E.On, as reported by Tagesschau.de.
The attackers are said to have prepared a fictitious document that supposedly came from a consulting firm.
When the document is opened, the victim's credentials should be sent to a server apparently controlled by the hackers.
Regarding the attack, EnBW explained that EnBW's electricity and gas network control was never affected.
We welcome the successful investigation into the incident.
The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution is also monitoring the activities of »Berserk Bear«.
According to Tagesschau.de research, the office should at least partially monitor the data traffic of the hackers.