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Bundestag counting cost of cyberattack

June 11, 2015

Germany's parliament has rejected rumors its IT system will need to be completely replaced following a recent cyberattack. Reports say large amounts of data are still being stolen from the network.

A man sits in front of a computer
Image: picture-alliance/dpa

Germany's parliamentary speaker Norbert Lammert has dismissed media reports that all 20,000 computers in the country's lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, would need to replaced. The job would cost millions of euros and take several months to complete. Lammert said this would be unnecessary, though he admitted that parts of the information technology network may need to be wiped and reinstalled.

Internet spokesman for the Christian Democratic Union, Thomas Jarzombek, issued a similar stance, telling newspaper "Die Zeit" that only a "manageable number of servers need to be reinstalled, the hardware is not affected." Lammert's comments came after a meeting with lawmakers on Thursday to discuss the extent of the attack.

A day earlier, news website "Spiegel" quoted a parliamentary source as saying that the viruses used by the hackers to infiltrate the computers, trojans, were still active, and sending data. But Lammert disputed this on Thursday, saying no data appeared to have been siphoned out of the Bundestag's IT system in the past two weeks.

This contradicts a statement made by a spokeswoman on May 29, who said that several "scattered data outflows" had been detected. Earlier in the month the Bundestag confirmed a cyber attack had been launched on its internal server, the source of which remains unknown.

The head of the nation's domestic intelligence service, Hans-Georg Maassen, said he believed a foreign government was behind the hack, and reiterated warnings about Russian hackers. "My service has repeatedly confirmed that cyber attacks by Russian services are highly sophisticated in any case and are causing us great concern," he said.

an/msh (dpa, AP, Reuters)