Malware Found on Computers of Germany’s Space Center, Evidence Points to China


German Aerospace Center reportedly targeted by foreign intelligence agency

The German Aerospace Center (DLR), the country’s national center for aerospace, energy and transportation research, has been reportedly targeted in a cyberattack apparently launched by a foreign intelligence agency. However, not many details are available at this point.

According to Der Spiegel, computers used by administrators and scientists have been found to be infected with Trojans and spyware.

The cyberattacks appear to be sophisticated. In some cases, the forensic investigators who have analyzed the infections haven’t found the actual malware because it was programmed to self-destroy as soon as it was discovered. The attacks are said to impact all operating systems used by the DLR.

Evidence indicates that the attacks have been launched from China. The country’s Federal Office for Online Security (BSI) has found Chinese characters in the code of some Trojans. Typos in the code also suggest that the attacker is from the Far East.

However, someone familiar with the investigation has told Der Spiegel that the real attackers might have planted these clues to hide their identity. The United States National Security Agency (NSA) is among the suspects.

Because the center stores information on armament and rocket technologies, the attacks have been catalogued as being extremely serious.

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