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EU Denounces Russian-Linked Cyberattack Campaign As 'Unacceptable'

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell (file photo)
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell (file photo)

The European Union is urging Russia to adhere to the norms of "responsible state behavior" after a cyberattack campaign targeted a number of member states.

"Some member states observed malicious cyberactivities, collectively designated as Ghostwriter, and associated these with the Russian state," EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement on September 24 on behalf of the bloc.

"Such activities are unacceptable as they seek to threaten our integrity and security, democratic values and principles, and the core functioning of our democracies," he said.

The statement comes after Germany's prosecutor-general opened investigations earlier this month into a number of recent cyberattacks targeting German politicians -- attacks that the German Foreign Ministry has blamed on Moscow.

Russia rejected the allegations, which came ahead of Germany’s parliamentary elections on September 26.

According to Borrell, the Ghostwriter cybercampaign has targeted "numerous members of parliaments, government officials, politicians, and members of the press and civil society in the EU," with the hackers "accessing computer systems and personal accounts and stealing data."

He said the EU and its member states "strongly denounce" these activities, and warned the bloc would "consider taking further steps."

He did not provide further details.

On September 6, the German Foreign Ministry said the government had "reliable information" that the recent series of cyberattacks targeting politicians could be attributed to actors in Russia, "specifically to the Russian military intelligence service," known as the GRU.

Germany and other EU members have accused Russia of cyberattacks in the past, with Moscow denying any involvement.

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