The German government has officially proposed that the European Union impose sanctions on Russian individuals responsible for a large-scale hacking of the Bundestag five years ago, the German Press Agency reported Sunday.
If agreed, the plan, which was recommended by Berlin last month, would be the first use of an EU cyber sanctions regime adopted in 2017, Deutsche Welle reported.
The details of the proposals were revealed in response to a parliamentary inquiry filed by Germany's socialist Left Party and reviewed by the news agency.
The German government believes Russian intelligence was behind a 2015 network hacking in which an estimated 16 gigabytes of data, documents, and emails were siphoned off from the Bundestag's IT network, including thousands of emails from Merkel's Bundestag office.
It was the largest cyber hacking ever carried out against the Bundestag.
In May, Germany's attorney general issued an arrest warrant against Russian citizen Dmitry Badin, who is "strongly suspected of being responsible" for the attack and who is a "member of the group APT28," the response to the inquiry said.
Germany also believes a hacker from the Russian military secret service GRU was involved.
On June 3, 2020, the government "substantiated sanction proposals within the EU framework by presenting a comprehensive package of evidence based on the results of German investigative authorities and on intelligence information as well as publicly available sources."
This information was sent to the other EU member states for consideration. A decision from the bloc is still pending.