German spy chief warns of cyberattacks on LNG terminals

New facilities for unloading liquefied gas in Germany should also be considered possible targets, according to Bruno Kahl

Oliver Towfigh Nia  | 15.09.2023 - Update : 15.09.2023
German spy chief warns of cyberattacks on LNG terminals


The head of Germany's foreign intelligence service BND on Friday warned of cyberattacks on the terminals for importing liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Since Russia’s war on Ukraine began in February 2022, it has become clear that the war in cyberspace is becoming internationalized and leaving traces beyond the actual crisis region, said Bruno Kahl at a cybersecurity conference in the southern city of Stuttgart.

“And the new facilities for unloading liquefied gas should also be considered possible further targets,” the German Press Agency dpa quoted the BND boss as saying.

Germany relies on, among other things, LNG as an alternative to Russian gas deliveries. It is rapidly building its own infrastructure for this purpose. In addition to the three LNG terminals currently in Wilhelmshaven, Brunsbuttel, and Lubmin, further facilities are being prepared.

Kahl said he views Russia and China as the biggest cyber threats to Germany.

“State actors in both countries are intensively active in cyberspace in order to harm politics, administration, business, research, and also society in Germany,” he said.

Kahl also pointed to attacks by much smaller states, saying: “In the digital world, it is not primarily the size and the mass, but above all the innovative strength and creativity when it comes to achieving the greatest possible impact.”

This also applies online to topics such as espionage, sabotage, disinformation or cybercrime, he said.

“Consequently, even states that have limited means for conventional armament are investing specifically in their cyber capabilities in order to achieve virtual gains in terrain.”

Kahl mentioned, among others, North Korea, Vietnam and, above all, Iran. “Top-class intelligence-supported hacker groups” operate there, he said.

The German economy reportedly suffers damage of more than €200 billion every year due to cyberattacks.​​​​​​​

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