Germany’s top cyber official faces dismissal over links to Russia: report

The head of Germany’s cyber security agency is expected to be relieved from his post over links to Russia’s federal security service, news outlets have reported.

Arne Schnbohm.

Arne Schönbohm.Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Arne Schönbohm is believed to have maintained contacts with Russian security officials through a controversial non-profit, named Cyber-Sicherheitsrat Deutschland e.V. (Cyber Security Council Germany), the Polish website reported on Monday, citing Germany’s Handelsblatt newspaper. 

Schönbohm leads the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), is a Bonn-based outfit of the German Interior Ministry, tasked with overseeing the country’s IT security, wrote.

A German non-profit infiltrated by FSB?

In government circles in Berlin, there is unofficial talk that the Cyber-Sicherheitsrat Deutschland e.V. might be steered by Russia’s federal security service, the FSB, the Polish website noted.

According to Handelsblatt, “the organisation’s members include large and medium-sized German companies, critical infrastructure operators, many of Germany’s federated states and federal institutions, as well as experts and political decision-makers in the field of cyber security,” as cited by

Cyber-Sicherheitsrat Deutschland e.V. brings together energy giants EnBW, Eon and Vattenfall, the Chinese technology group Huawei, but also a German trade union, the police association and the federal ministry of health, Handelsblatt wrote, as reported by 

Germany’s top cyber official to be dismissed?

Meanwhile, Schönbohm has long been regarded as a controversial figure by Germany’s security experts, the Polish website noted.

For instance, he had voiced no objections to the idea of cooperating with the Chinese giant Huawei on the development of 5G wireless networks, which has raised wide cyber security concerns, added.

Amid suggestions of a possible link to Russia, Handelsblatt expects that the BSI chief will be relieved of his duties, reported. 


Source:, Reuters,

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