Cyber: Statement by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on continued malicious behaviour in cyberspace by the Russian Federation

The European Union and its Member States, together with international partners, strongly condemn the malicious cyber campaign conducted by the Russia-controlled Advanced Persistent Threat Actor 28 (APT28) against Germany and Czechia. Today, Germany has shared publicly its assessment on APT28 compromise of various e-mail accounts of the German Social Democratic Party executive. At the same time, Czechia announced its institutions have been a target of this cyber campaign. State institutions, agencies and entities in Member States, including in Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia and Sweden have been targeted by the same threat actor before. In 2020, the EU imposed sanctions on individuals and entities responsible for the APT28 attacks targeting the German Federal Parliament in 2015.

The malicious cyber campaign shows Russia’s continuous pattern of irresponsible behaviour in cyberspace, by targeting democratic institutions, government entities and critical infrastructure providers across the European Union and beyond.

This type of behaviour is contrary to the UN norms of responsible state behaviour in cyberspace, such as impairing the use and operation of critical infrastructure. Disregarding international security and stability, Russia has repeatedly leveraged APT28 to conduct malicious cyber activities against the EU, its Member States and international partners, most notably Ukraine.

The EU will not tolerate such malicious behaviour, particularly activities that aim to degrade our critical infrastructure, weaken societal cohesion and influence democratic processes, mindful of this year’s elections in the EU and in more than 60 countries around the world. The EU and its Member States will continue to cooperate with our international partners to promote an open, free, stable and secure cyberspace.

The EU is determined to make use of the full spectrum of measures to prevent, deter and respond to Russia’s malicious behaviour in cyberspace.