Germany Raises Cybersecurity Alert Level Ahead of Elections

Germany has raised its cybersecurity alert level as it prepares for an onslaught of cyber attacks ahead of the parliamentary elections, the country’s top cybersecurity watchdog revealed.

Arne Schoenbohm, president of Germany’s Federal Office of Information Security (BSI) has confirmed that Germany is in a state of “heightened readiness” to face cyber attacks ahead of the parliamentary elections.

Speaking on Sunday, Schoenbohm told the newspaper Welt am Sonntag that German government websites are under frequent assault on a daily basis, to begin with.

“We are noticing attacks against government networks on a daily basis,” said Schoenbohm, underlining the need to raise the country’s cybersecurity alert levels.

As the country’s cybersecurity watchdog, the BSI is also keeping open communication with political parties, election officials and German Federal States to discuss mitigation and prevention measures against cybersecurity attacks. Schoenbohm also confirmed that the BSI is advising these entities to be on guard and react to potential attacks ahead of the election.

As Reuters reports, the German newspaper does not delve into any details about the different types of alert levels. However, following the several cybersecurity attacks and breaches targeting the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in the lead-up to the US Presidential Elections in 2016, Germany has paid attention and raised its vigilance.

Meanwhile, the president of German domestic intelligence agency BfV, Hans-Georg Maassen, previously warned in February that developed nations such as the United States, Germany and several others are increasingly becoming vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks as the race toward digitization turns into a sprint.

German authorities have pointed to the possibility of Russian cyberattacks aimed at interfering with the German parliamentary elections that will take place on September 24, 2017. For its part, Kremlin has denied all allegations, stating that Moscow does not interfere with other countries’ domestic matters.

More details about Germany’s increased threat level could be revealed on Monday, when the SBI hosts the country’s largest annual technology conference, CeBIT, in Hanover.  

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