Hans-Georg Maassen, Head of Germany's domestic intelligence agency said, during a corporate security conference in Berlin on April 11, that Russia was "highly likely" behind hacker attack on German networks. It was detected back in December 2017, but could have started earlier. He added, however, that it is difficult to be 100% sure about the origin of the attack.
According to him, the authorities had been monitoring the attack for some time and determined that it hadn't caused any damage. He claimed that the cyberattack likely had Russian origins, but was not linked to the APT28 group, also known as Fancy Bear, which has allegedly performed several attacks on servers in Germany and other countries. He also declined to comment on another recent hacking incident in Germany, which several of the country's lawmakers connected with another hacker group Snake, also known as Turla.
Maassen also commented on the Facebook data leak scandal, saying he was "astonished how many people were surprised" by the incident. He added that he doesn't have a Facebook account and would never entrust his private information to a company he doesn't trust.
In February, reports surfaced that networks in the German foreign and defense ministries had suffered cyberattacks. In the initial reports, German authorities blamed the APT28 hacker group, which they connect with the Russian security forces, for perpetrating the attack, although no proof was ever presented.
According to another report by the German magazine Spiegel in March, hackers stole documents related to the Brexit talks and negotiations between the EU and other countries. The magazine claimed that the theft had been detected and monitored by German security services, who believed that Turla, a group also allegedly connected to Russia, was behind the theft. No proof has been presented in this case, either.
Russia has been dealing with the groundless accusations of using so-called "state hackers" to meddle in the other countries' domestic affairs ever since the US claimed that the alleged Moscow-backed group Fancy Bear hacked the servers of the Democratic Party in the run-up to the US presidential election. Currently, the investigation into the alleged meddling in the US elections is ongoing and no solid proof supporting the "Russians did it" theory has been found and presented.
Subsequently, several other countries announced that they had allegedly detected Russian traces in hacks on their government networks. British authorities launched an investigation into the possible "Russian meddling" in the Brexit referendum, but concluded that no intervention into the referendum had been detected.