A deep Russian hack attack on the German parliament, which we reported last week, will likely require that all software and hardware in the German parliamentary network to be replaced.
After more than four weeks, the government still hasn’t managed to erase spyware from the systems, according to a German news report.
The deeply implanted Trojans are still operating and still sending data from the internal network to an unknown destination, several anonymous sources confirmed.
It is widely suspected Russia is behind the attack, although authorities haven’t been able to definitively confirm this due to the level of sophistication.
Sources inside the German parliament report that IT staff are already planning to replace the internal network’s software, and may need to replace the hardware as well. Such an operation would take months and cost millions of euros. It would also be embarrassing for the German government.
The parliament will discuss what exactly they plan to do this week, although a decision will likely be put off until later next week.
The Germans face a tricky situation in terms of what to do. They could call in the help of counterintelligence experts from the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (BfV), the domestic intelligence service of Germany.
But some members of parliament have voiced concerns about the involvement of the BfV. Similar objections have been raised about getting assistance from the foreign intelligence service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst, because the agency would then have access to the legislative process.
Foreign assistance, such as by the United States, has been ruled out on similar grounds.
Yet Armin Schuster, a member of parliament, sharply criticized those objections. Schuster said he thinks it is “crazy” that some members would rather be spied upon by a foreign intelligence agency then letting domestic agencies help.