The German parliament is the latest political institution to suffer a cyber attack. Using malvertising, which involves injecting malicious or malware-laden advertisements into legitimate online advertising networks and webpages, attackers commandeered the Jerusalem Post website in an attempt to steer users to a malicious site.
This type of spear-phishing attack, redirecting anyone clicking on a malicious ad to a harmful website, is still uncommon – but could pose a growing threat in future. In this case it appears that the hackers manipulated the Jerusalem Post site to serve up German language ads to visitors with German IP addresses.
It’s not known whether politicians were the main target, but it seems conspicuous timing considering the upcoming elections. Cyber defences were beefed up after a previous attack on the Bundestag in 2015 and this attempted hack fell flat – but not before evidence was found pointing towards Russia-based perpetrators.