German domestic spy agency expects further cyber attacks before election

A man types on a computer keyboard in Warsaw in this February 28, 2013 illustration file picture. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Files

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s domestic intelligence agency expects further cyber attacks directed against German politicians and government officials ahead of national elections on Sept. 24, the agency’s chief Hans-Georg Maassen told a conference on Thursday.

“We expect further attacks, and we are keeping a very close watch on the threats,” Maassen told the conference in Potsdam near Berlin, noting that the agency had detected and been able to thwart repeated email phishing attacks directed at Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

Maassen said German officials were on high alert for cyber attacks given recent attacks on the U.S. military by Russian hackers and reports by U.S. intelligence officials that sensitive materials had been taken from the U.S. Democratic National Committee to influence the U.S. election.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Madeline Chambers