German cybersecurity chief sacked over alleged links with Russia – DW – 10/18/2022

German Interior Minister Nancy Wieser on Tuesday dismissed the head of the BSI national cybersecurity agency, Arne Schönbaum.

Schönbaum was removed from his position as head of the national cybersecurity agency BSI after media reported that he had links with people involved with Russian intelligence services.

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The dismissal was first reported in the news magazine, SpiegelThis was later confirmed by a spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior.

“The background to this is not the least well-known and widely discussed allegations in the media, which have permanently damaged the necessary public confidence in the impartiality and impartiality of managing his position as head of Germany’s most important cybersecurity authority,” the spokesperson said.

There was no initial indication of who would succeed the 53-year-old, who has been president of BSI since February 2016.

Alleged relations with Russia

Visser was reportedly concerned about Schönbaum’s ongoing communication with an association called Germany’s Cyber ​​Security Council. A joint meeting is scheduled between Schönbaum and the Minister of the Interior The German cybersecurity reporting in 2022 was canceled last week as the ministry requested clarification of the allegations.

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It is believed that Shunbum’s presence at the group’s anniversaries last month put things on top of their heads.

The head of cyberspace helped create the group — which includes experts from public institutions and the private sector — just over 10 years ago. He advises businesses, politicians, and authorities on cybersecurity and describes himself as politically neutral.

But the group came under heavy criticism after Russia launched its war in Ukraine over one of its members’ contact with the Kremlin.

The cybersecurity firm, Protelion, which had been the main focus, was fired from the board last weekend.

Until March, the company was named Infotecs and was a subsidiary of its Russian name. It was reportedly created by a former member of the Russian secret services who was honored by President Vladimir Putin.

rc / wmr (dpa, Reuters)

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