Germany Proposes to Introduce First « Cyber Sanctions »

Germany invited EU countries to impose sanctions because of a cyber attack on the Bundestag. The country associates the attack with Russian hackers. This may be the first case of applying the European “cyber sanctions regime” created last year.

The German government has proposed the EU to impose sanctions against persons associated with a cyber attack on the Bundestag in May 2015. The package of documents was submitted to the EU on June 3, but no decision has been made yet, follows from the authorities’ response to the parliamentary request of the Left Party faction.

A cyber attack on the computer networks of the German parliament occurred in April-May 2015. Then, members of the parliament received emails allegedly from the UN, which contained a malicious link. As a result of the attack, at least 16 gigabytes of data were stolen, including correspondence of members of the Bundestag. According to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian intelligence was involved in the cyber attack.

Now the German federal government « has proposed to impose sanctions within the EU, presenting a comprehensive package of evidence based on the results of the work of the investigating authorities of Germany, intelligence information and data from public sources, » the document says.

If this proposal of Berlin is approved, then this will be the first case of the application of the so-called cyber sanctions regime of the European Union. It was developed by the EU countries in 2017 and agreed two years later, but has not been applied yet. It involves restricting movement and freezing assets in response to organizing cyber attacks. Adoption of sanctions requires unanimous approval from all 27 countries of the European Union.


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