Chancellor Merkel 'was patient zero' in German govt network hack

Her computer was used to spread Trojan, it is claimed

Angela Merkel. Pic: Christliches Medienmagazin

The recent cyberattack on the German government began with the compromise of Chancellor Angela Merkel's personal computer, it is alleged.

German newspaper Bild claims Merkel's computer was one of the first systems to be infected with malware linked to miscreants in Russia.

Hackers reportedly used Merkel's computer to send messages to other targets in order to further spread a Trojan throughout the German government. The newspaper did not mention how Merkel herself may have been infected.

The infection eventually spread throughout the German Bundestag, and was traced back to hackers based in Russia. The German administration has refused to point the finger of blame publicly.

The attack reportedly compromised roughly 20,000 systems, and put lawmakers' documents at the fingertips of the infiltrators. It has yet to be confirmed whether the hackers were physically located in Russia or using a proxy in the Putin-led nation, and whether the activity took place with the knowledge of Russian authorities.

Russia wouldn't be the first foreign government to pwn Merkel's gear. Earlier this year the NSA was found to have tapped the phone of the German chancellor to gather intelligence. ®

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