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CRIME

Hackers target German branch of Russian oil giant Rosneft

The German subsidiary of Russian energy giant Rosneft has been hit by a cyberattack, the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) said on Monday, with hacker group Anonymous claiming responsibility.

Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (SPD) talks at an event in Berlin in 2021.
Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (SPD) talks at an event in Berlin in 2021. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christoph Soeder

Rosneft Deutschland reported the incident in the early hours of Saturday morning, the BSI said.

Anonymous had published a statement on Friday claiming responsibility for the attack and saying it had captured 20 terabytes of data.

Prosecutors in Berlin have opened an investigation, according to a report in Der Spiegel magazine.

Rosneft Deutschland reportedly subsequently took its systems offline. Its pipelines and refineries continue to operate as normal, the report added.

The BSI had warned in early March of a heightened risk of cyberattacks and an “increased threat situation for Germany” after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, advising businesses to increase IT security measures.

READ ALSO: How Germany is preparing to ward off future cyber attacks

It has now issued a new cybersecurity warning to other companies in the oil industry.

Rosneft Deutschland says it has been responsible for around a quarter of all crude oil imports to Germany in recent years and has stakes in three
refineries in the country.

Rosneft chief executive Igor Sechin is a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder is chairman of the board of directors, a role that has seen him receive heavy criticism in recent weeks.

The Anonymous hacker group has claimed responsibility for cyberattacks on several Russian institutions since the start of the conflict in Ukraine, including the Kremlin itself, the defence ministry, the Duma lower house of parliament and pro-Kremlin Russian media.

Anonymous said it “didn’t want to mess around directly with the Russian energy companies… because there are some sanctioning states whose energy supply is linked to Russia”.

“But Rosneft Germany is interesting enough,” it added.

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GERMANY AND ISRAEL

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

The German government says it is in talks over further compensation for victims of the attack on the Munich Olympics, as the 50th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

Ahead of the commemoration in September, relatives of the Israelis killed have indicated they are unhappy with what Germany is offering.

“Conversations based on trust are taking place with representatives of the victims’ families,” a German interior ministry spokesman told AFP when asked about the negotiations.

He did not specify who would benefit or how much money had been earmarked, saying only that any package would “again” be financed by the federal government, the state of Bavaria and the city of Munich.

On September 5th, 1972, eight gunmen broke into the Israeli team’s flat at the Olympic village, shooting dead two and taking nine Israelis hostage, threatening to kill them unless 232 Palestinian prisoners were released.

West German police responded with a bungled rescue operation in which all nine hostages were killed, along with five of the eight hostage-takers and a police officer.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists  held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Horst Ossingert

The spokeswoman for the victims’ families, Ankie Spitzer, told the German media group RND that the amount currently on the table was “insulting” and threatened a boycott of this year’s commemorations.

She said Berlin was offering a total of €10 million including around €4.5 million already provided in compensation between 1972 and 2002 — an amount she said did not correspond to international standards. 

“We are angry and disappointed,” said Spitzer, the widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer who was killed in the attack. “We never wanted to talk publicly about money but now we are forced to.”

RND reported that the German and Israeli governments would like to see an accord by August 15th.

The interior ministry spokesman said that beyond compensation, Germany intended to use the anniversary for fresh “historical appraisal, remembrance and recognition”.

He said this would include the formation of a commission of German and Israeli historians to “comprehensively” establish what happened “from the perspective of the year 2022”.

This would lead to “an offer of further acts of acknowledgement of the relatives of the victims of the attack” and the “grave consequences” they suffered.

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