Bruno Kahl, president of the Bundesnachrichtendienst, said Russia may have been behind attempts during the US presidential campaign to interfere with the vote.
“We have evidence that cyber-attacks are taking place that have no purpose other than to elicit political uncertainty,” he told the Süddeutsche Zeitung in his first interview since he was appointed five months ago.
“The perpetrators are interested in delegitimizing the democratic process as such, regardless of who that ends up helping. We have indications that [the attacks] come from the Russian region.
“Being able to attribute it to a state agent is technically difficult but there is some evidence that this is at least tolerated or desired by the state.”
Kahl said the suspicion was that a large proportion of attacks were being carried out simply to demonstrate technical prowess. “The traces that are left behind in the internet create an impression of someone wanting to demonstrate what they are capable of,” he said.
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