EU And NATO Condemn Russian Cyberespionage Campaign Against Germany And Czechia

BRUSSELS — The European Union and NATO have strongly condemned a malicious cyber campaign by the Russian hacking group Fancy Bear against Germany and Czechia. The EU and NATO warned that such attacks would not be tolerated particularly with EU elections upcoming in June.

The Council of the EU and the Czech Foreign Ministry said Czechia’s institutions have also been targeted by the same group that hacked the emails of Germany’s governing Social Democratic Party. Both German and Czech officials said the GRU hackers leveraged a previously unknown vulnerability in Microsoft Outlook.

In a statement by the EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell the bloc’s nations said they “strongly condemn the malicious cyber campaign” by Fancy Bear “against Germany and Czechia.” The EU noted that it had previously imposed sanctions on individuals and entities associated with the group for targeting the German parliament in 2015.

NATO accused Fancy Bear of targeting “other national governmental entities critical infrastructure operators and other entities across the Alliance” including in Lithuania Poland Slovakia and Sweden. “We are determined to employ the necessary capabilities in order to deter defend against and counter the full spectrum of cyberthreats to support each other including by considering coordinated responses,” said the North Atlantic Council the principal political decision-making body within NATO.

The hacking revelations come as German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is visiting Australia New Zealand and Fiji with the trip focusing on security policy as China pushes for influence in the Pacific region.