Now the question arises: Will the election in Germany be affected by cyber attacks as well? In this article, we will look at the current developments of the super-election year 2017: The elections in the Netherlands, France and Germany are important fundamental decisions for European democracy. As European citizens we are concerned about the persistent reports of cyber-security incidents. Here's a short overview of past cyber attacks of a political nature:
Summer 2015: The Bundestag hack
September 2016: Cyber attacks on German top politicians
But it is not only the German political apparatus that is a frequent target of hackers. The international community has to cope with many attacks. Here are a few examples that are known to the public:
December 2016: Cyber attacks on the OSCE
December 2016: Cyber attacks on the Polish foreign ministry
January 2017: Cyber Attacks on the Czech foreign ministry
January 2017: Cyber attacks on NATO
The recent revelations of WikiLeaks also raise concerns about how even the US will deal with its offensive cyber units in the future – after all, they have been active in Europe several times in the past.
An alarming picture.
It seems almost impossible that German politicians will be spared. In light of the international incidents and massive political intervention on the basis of cyber-attacks, one wonders: Were German politicians, at federal, state and local levels not yet hacked because they are so secure, or have the attacks just not been discovered? Are comprehensive measures already being taken in politics and business to protect against social engineering, social hacking and phishing? And is our political and economic system prepared for the present and future of organised cybercrime?
We can probably assume that this year will be very interesting not only at the political level, but also at the cyber level. Like the BSI President, we are left with just one plea to the parties: Take IT security seriously!
However, some current news reports cast serious doubts as to whether this awareness of the seriousness of the situation has really reached day-to-day political affairs. It is certain that administrations and parties, as well as NGOs and companies, should definitely invest in IT security in order to survive in today's digital world. As far as tomorrow is concerned, I'd rather not even think about it.