German government websites, including Chancellor Angela Merkel’s page, were hacked on Wednesday in an attack claimed by a group demanding Berlin end support for the Ukrainian government, shortly before their leaders were to meet, Business Day Live reports.
Authorities took counter-measures but failed to halt the attack, which left the sites periodically inaccessible from 10am, spokesman Steffen Seibert said. Screens gave internet users error messages instead.
It was believed to be the first successful prolonged attack on the government’s websites, which intelligence agency officials say face about 3,000 such hacker assaults daily.
The head of the BfV domestic intelligence agency said recently about five of the daily attacks came from foreign intelligence agencies.
Wednesday’s hacking, which also knocked out the foreign ministry’s website, came just before a meeting in Berlin between Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk and German President Joachim Gauck. Mr Yatseniuk will meet Ms Merkel on Thursday.
"Our service provider’s data centre is under a severe attack that has apparently been caused by a variety of external systems," Mr Seibert told a news conference when asked if Ukrainian hackers were responsible.