Germany resigns cyber boss over Russian ties • The Register

The federal government has dismissed the President of the Federal Office for Information Security, Arne Schönbohm, because of his ties to Russia.

Schönbohm’s heartache erupted last week when late-night talk show ZDF Magazine Royale branded him a “cyberclown” in a Twitter thread that detailed some of the worst moments of his career:

Among the issues raised in the thread was Schönbohm’s creation of a lobby group called the Cyber ​​Security Council Germany. The group absorbed a member company called Protelion, which claimed to be German but was actually founded by a former KGB officer honored by Vladimir Putin for his services to Russia.

Industry associations that depend on membership dues can theoretically be influenced by those who make the most generous or vocal contributions. This opportunity has not gone unnoticed by intelligence agencies as they seek to uncover and deflect leverage – or sometimes carry it out by creating flimsy lobby groups.

Schönbohm is not accused of any wrongdoing in the Cyber ​​Security Council, but his verdict has been questioned as it does not look good to have been able to help a Russian infosec team.

Germany is also currently reacting very sensitively to Moscow’s many needling tactics. The euro-nation is preparing to shiver through a winter in which heaters will be turned down to ease high energy prices caused by Russia’s curbing of gas exports – part of its retaliation for Western support for Ukraine’s resistance to the illegal invasion by Vladimir Putin.

Germany’s interior ministry will investigate Schönbohm’s history and behavior, and it’s theoretically possible that he’ll be reinstated at the helm of the agency tasked with promoting cybersecurity across Germany. Government officials have made assurances that Schönbohm can win the trust of the German people as the yardstick for his return to the job. ® Germany resigns cyber boss over Russian ties • The Register

Rick Schindler

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