Contact with Russia?: Heel around German cyber defense chief

There, Schönbohm’s possible links to Russian Secret Service circles through the controversial Federation Cyber ​​Security Council Germany were discussed. It is spreading further, with Germany’s Interior Minister Nancy Fesser (SPD) moving away from Schönbohm. A long-planned joint appearance by Fasser and Schonbohm to present the annual BSI Annual Report was canceled on Monday morning.

This is attributed to the minister’s anger at Schönbohm’s continued contact with the association, which he co-founded and managed ten years earlier. And anger could result in his dismissal: Several media reported on Sunday that Interior Minister wanted Schönbohm to be relieved of his post. There should be talk of a “quick change”, the AFP news agency reports.

“serious allegations”

Schönbohm’s ties to the controversial club were previously discussed by “ZDF Magazine Royale”. The Interior Ministry said the facts were being checked and carefully examined. It will be considered “how to deal with the current situation,” it said. Interior Minister Fasser spoke on Monday about the “serious allegations” that someone wanted to “investigate” to “then take the necessary steps”.

It was recently rumored that Schönbohm’s trip to the club’s anniversary a few weeks ago should have been the last straw. According to a report in the “Business Insider” portal, the Interior Ministry was informed about Schönbohm’s speech at the association. Reportedly, Fassar’s Secretary of State Marcus Richter approved the lecture on August 24 at Schönbohm’s request. Schonbohm also wrote a congratulatory letter on Twitter.

Affected club calls allegations ‘absurd’

The Cyber ​​Security Council of Germany rejected the suspicion that the organization should maintain close contact with the Russian Secret Service. These allegations are “absurd”, President Hans-Wilhelm Dunn said on Monday. The association, founded in 2012, advises companies, politicians and executives on cyber security and declares itself to be politically neutral.

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Cybersecurity firm Protelion comes into focus

Meanwhile, Berlin cyber security company Protelion, which is a member of the Cyber ​​Security Council of Germany, e. V. is. The company operated under the name Infotech GmbH till the end of March.

It is a subsidiary of the Russian cyber security company OAOInfotecs, which, according to the research network Policy Network Analytics, was founded by a former employee of the Russian intelligence service KGB, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his work by Russian President Vladimir Putin. it was done. ,

Membership in the Federal Union has been suspended

Protelion was also previously a member of the Federal Association for the Protection of Critical Infrastructure (BSKI). The association said on Monday that it had decided to suspend Protelion’s membership for the time being. The association cited the report of “ZDF Magazin Royale”.

“We will suspend membership until the allegations against Protelion are fully clarified,” said Holger Berens, president of BSKI. “The allegations are outrageous and if they are confirmed, we will have to take further action.”

Protelian’s connections to Russia were mentioned in specialist publications months before Bohrmann’s report. In January, “Forensic News” reported on reservations about infotech in the United States, that is, at a time when Protelion was still operating in Germany under the name Infotech. After the company was renamed, expert portal Intelligence Online pointed to the problematic cross-connection to Russia.

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