1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites
The Reichstag building in Berlin which houses Germany's lower house of parliament
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/xim.gs/p. Szyza
PoliticsEurope

EU sanctions Russian officials over Bundestag hack

October 22, 2020

The European Union has imposed sanctions on two Russian officials, including the head of the Kremlin's military intelligence agency, over a hacking attack on the German parliament in 2015.

https://p.dw.com/p/3kIos

The European Union imposed sanctions on the head of Russia's military intelligence, Igor Kostyukov, and one other official on Thursday over a cyberattack that saw data stolen from Germany's parliament.

In a statement, the EU said that the two officials were responsible for a computer hacking attack on the Bundestag in 2015.

Russia has denied the accusations as a "hackneyed story" and said the EU lacked evidence to support the claim.

Merkel a target

Brussels has imposed travel bans and asset freezes on Kostyukov and Dmitry Badin, a military intelligence officer. The EU says Badin was part of a team that initiated the hacks on the Bundestag.

"This cyberattack targeted the parliament's information system and affected its operation for several days. A significant amount of data was stolen and the email accounts of several MPs, as well as of Chancellor Angela Merkel, were affected,'' the statement said.

Many computers in German lawmakers' offices were infected with spyware, including computers in Merkel's office.

The hack prompted an entire overhaul of the German parliament's IT system.

Badin known to authorities

Badin had already been identified by German authorities as the suspected orchestrator of the attack on the Bundestag.

An arrest warrant was issued against him by Germany's Federal Public Prosecutor General in May of this year. The FBI in the United States is also seeking Badin on suspicions of having influenced the country's presidential election of 2016.

The sanctions on Kostyukov, the head of the GRU military intelligence agency, follow similar asset freezes and travel bans imposed last week on officials close to President Vladimir Putin in response to the alleged poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. The Kemlin vowed to retaliate 'in kind' to those sanctions.

jsi/rs (Reuters, AP, dpa, AFP)

Skip next section Explore more
Skip next section Related topics
Skip next section DW's Top Story

DW's Top Story

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (L) and Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov in Kyiv, pictured on February 3, 2022

Ukraine updates: Kyiv expected to replace defense minister

Skip next section More stories from DW
Go to homepage