Germany summons Russian envoy, seeks sanctions over hacking

Germany says it is seeking European Union sanctions against a Russian man over his alleged role in the hacking of the German parliament at a time when evidence showed he was working for Russian intelligence. The Germany Foreign Ministry said it called in Russian Ambassador Sergei Nechayev on Thursday to inform him in person of the move.

"The Russian ambassador was informed that on the basis of an arrest warrant issued by the (German) federal prosecutor's office on 5 May against Russian national Dmitry Badin, that the German government will seek in Brussels to use the EU cyber sanctions regime against those responsible for the attack on the German Bundestag, including Mr Badin," the ministry said in a statement.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told parliament this month that Russia was targeting her in hacking attacks, saying she had concrete proof of the "outrageous" spying attempts and raising the possibility of sanctions. Berlin's intelligence services have repeatedly called out attempts by Russian hackers to spy on lawmakers or leading politicians.

Badin is also wanted by the FBI for other cyberattacks, including those targeting the Democrats during the 2016 US presidential election. He was accused by the German federal prosecutor's office this month of spying against the Bundestag lower house of parliament in 2015 on behalf of Russia's GRU military intelligence service.

The operation aimed at the Bundestag involved an aggressive attack called Sofacy or APT 28 that had also struck NATO members and knocked French TV station TV5Monde off the air.

It is believed to have scooped up data from Merkel's email account as well as those of MPs. According to Spiegel magazine, hackers managed to completely copy two of Merkel's email accounts containing correspondence dating between 2012 and 2015.

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