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​German space center 'spied on by foreign intelligence'

Published time: April 14, 2014 13:22
German Aerospace Center in Oberpfaffenhofen, near Wessling, Bavaria (AFP Photo / Peter Kneffel)

German Aerospace Center in Oberpfaffenhofen, near Wessling, Bavaria (AFP Photo / Peter Kneffel)

Computer networks of the German Aerospace Center have been infiltrated in a sophisticated cyber-attack most likely carried out by a foreign intelligence agency, Der Spiegel reported.

The Cologne-headquartered DLR center is a leading German facility for aerospace, energy and transportation research that includes some sensitive projects. It appears that a party with considerable resources was interested in laying its hands on the DLR data and has infected its systems with various malware, the German newspaper reported Sunday.

The cyber-attack was a complicated and well-coordinated one. It has reportedly lasted for months and affected all DLR computer systems.

Forensic IT specialists investigating it could only trace some of the spy software by circumstantial evidence, because it was designed to destroy itself on discovery.

A Der Spiegel insider familiar with the probe said the malicious code discovered by the Germans suggested a Chinese origin. It contained some Chinese characters in comments and recurring typos characteristic of Asian programmers.

But those may be just camouflage to hide the true identity of the attacker, the source added. Involvement of a western intelligence agency, for example the US National Security Agency (NSA), cannot be ruled out, the source said.

German government has ramped up its counter-cyber-espionage efforts in the wake of the revelation of the scale of electronic surveillance program of the NSA. Berlin was outraged to discover that the US agency spied on Chancellor Angela Merkel and other German citizens, and voiced its irritation over Washington's failure to address the issue.

Comments (35)


trotsky 15.04.2014 07:17

Tom Stelling 15.04.2014 06:58

Russian trolls


my god, don't tell me, are an American! At least we have history and know where places are in the world.


Tom Stelling 15.04.2014 06:57

dimitri 15.04.2014 02:44

What really gets me is this: Do the Europeans think USA is their friend? Look east Europe and embrace the only country that is moral and would indeed protect you from the uncivilised Americans. Yes embrace Russia that has kept its morality intact and has so far on the crisis of Ukraine, been more than restrained and diplomatically tactful.




dimitri 15.04.2014 02:56

name='Jugoslavac' Germany has to realize that they would have far more benefits in a union with Russia than with the West. but they are trapped by the americans.
It is a fact that americans have always relied on European brain. mainly of German, Russian brains.

Very true indeed. American constitution says, in pursuit of happiness and lately added no matter what so they think, hey, lets bomb Iraq, what about Afganistan? Libya too? Where shall we cause trouble tomorrow. Ukraine sounds good, pay some thugs a few dollars and let us overthrow a legit government. Americans have no real friends. Germany should leave NATO

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