German Parliament to wipe parts of IT system amid ongoing hacking attack

Associated Press

The speaker of Germany's Parliament said Thursday that parts of its information technology system will need to be wiped and reinstalled to deal with an ongoing hacking attack on the network used by thousands of lawmakers and aides.

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Norbert Lammert announced the move after meeting with lawmakers to discuss the extent of the attack that was first discovered in early May.

Lammert said there was no indication that computers would need to be replaced. In a letter to lawmakers he also said that, contrary to German media reports, no data appeared to have been syphoned out of Parliament's IT system in the past two weeks.

But a parliamentary official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to discuss the matter publicly, told The Associated Press that hackers could have gained access to administrator passwords that would allow them to intercept sensitive communication.

The head of Germany's domestic intelligence agency said the attack may have been the work of foreign spies. German news agency dpa reported that Hans-Georg Maassen didn't indicate which country he suspected, but said that his agency had repeatedly warned in the past of the sophisticated cyberattacks carried out by Russia's intelligence agencies.