Regin spyware found on German Chancellery staff’s personal laptop

The German Federal Prosecutor’s Office has started an investigation regarding the discovery of the infamous Regin backdoor on the private laptop owned by a staff member of the German Federal Chancellery, a federal agency serving the executive office of the German Chancellor.

Regin is the malware used in the Belgacom and EU government hacks.

Regin was discovered on the aforementioned laptop back in 2014, but it’s unknown why it took the German Federal Prosecutor’s Office this long to mount an enquiry. They also haven’t said how long they expect it to go on.

This investigation comes after the one into the eavesdropping attack on the mobile phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been dropped earlier this year due to lack of solid proof of any wrongdoing.

As Der Spiegel (via Google Translate) reports, this latest investigation is handled by the newly appointed German Federal Prosecutor Peter Frank, who was installed on the job only last week.

It is widely believed that it is wielded by intelligence services of the Five Eyes (US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand), and the Equation hacking group, which has been linked to the US NSA.

Correction: Tuesday, 27 October 2:10PM – While the article originally stated that the spyware was found on German Chancellery chief’s personal laptop, that was incorrect. The laptop in question belongs to the head of a section of the German Federal Chancellery, not to its chief Peter Altmaier.


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