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German spies fear another Putin “fake news” campaign

by on12 December 2016

Putting in another government he likes

German spooks are worried that after Tsar Putin’s hackers managed to get Donald “Prince of Orange” Trump elected, he is about to use them to select a German government which will do what he tells them.

Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) chief Hans-Georg Maassen, says Russia is intending to “weaken or destabilise the Federal Republic of Germany” in time for the national election in September.

Maassen says Russia is tipping money into misinformation campaigns in "aggressive and elevated" spying against "German Government officials, members of parliament, and employees of democratic parties". It also expects an upswing in hacking in the run up to the elections.

He says Russia has "enormous resources" and noted increased activity of known advanced hacking groups including Pawn Storm (Fancy Bear) said to be a state-sponsored entity.

Maassen fears a repeat of what happened during the US election where social media made many vulnerable to consuming fake news propaganda which he says is an "ideal gateway" for disinformation using bots to spread messages.

Last week, US intelligence agencies confirmed that Moscow had hacked and leaked information to deliberately discredit Democrat presidential contender Hillary Clinton by selectively releasing compromising data stolen from the Republican National Committee.

President-elect Donald Trump has denied it all, of course, and Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for president Vladimir Putin, said last month that the nation is also bracing for attacks during its next election, adding that Germany like all other European countries hacks other nation's infrastructure.

We guess there would be nothing worse for Putin if someone breaks into the Kremlin and steals next year’s election results.

Last modified on 12 December 2016
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