German intelligence agencies are on alert about Russian hackers threatening that country’s upcoming elections. Bruno Kahl, president of the German Federal Intelligence Agency, told Sueddeutsche Zeitung, “We have evidence that cyber attacks are taking place that have no other purpose than triggering political uncertainty. The perpetrators are interested in delegitimising the democratic process as such, no matter who that subsequently helps.”
Chancellor Angela Merkel recently pointed out that social bots – attempts to influence opinion on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter – could have an effect on voting in their elections.
Merkel explained, “Such cyber attacks, or hybrid conflicts as they are known in Russian doctrine, are now part of daily life and we must learn to cope with them.”
U.S. intelligence agencies fingered Russian hackers likely working on orders from Vladimir Putin as the source of leaked Clinton emails that were published by WikiLeaks during the American election. Similarly, Russian propaganda operations churned out fake news, the vast majority attacking Clinton and favoring Donald Trump, in the 2016 election.