Germany says 'acute threat' of hack averted after detection

German Justice Minister Heiko Maas, left, and Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, right, attend a debate at Germany's parliament, the Bundestag, in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, March 1, 2018. German lawmakers have criticized the government for not informing them about a cyber attack that was able to infiltrate the government's secure computer networks last year. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

A German security official says the immediate threat posed by a cyberattack on the government's secure computer network was averted soon after it was detected

BERLIN — A German security official says the immediate threat posed by a cyberattack on the government's secure computer network was averted soon after it was detected.

Following a report by news agency dpa on Wednesday, the government acknowledged its network had been infiltrated but downplayed the possible harm done.

Johannes Dimroth, a spokesman for the interior ministry, told reporters Friday that "a certain period of monitoring" of the attack took place by German authorities but that "the acute danger was averted soon after it became known."

He declined to comment on reports that a Russian-backed hacker group called Snake was behind the attack.

Dimroth said authorities are trying to determine who tipped the media about the attack. Lawmakers expressed anger at not having been informed by the government before news broke.

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