Attacks on vaccination campaign: ministry of the interior sounds the alarm

The words of the right-wing trolls are drastic. The Bundeswehr would come, pick up each of the more than 80 million Germans "and take them to the vaccination center and inject you with the lethal injection/sterilization syringe there". The Vaccination Campaign Is the new bogeyman of the radical opponents of the Corona policy. For the authorities, it is clear that they must not only transport the vaccines securely, but also protect the vaccination centers themselves against attacks.

Developers, manufacturers and suppliers have been exposed to a completely different danger for months: Cyberattacks. Among the victims are biomedical company Miltenyi Biotec of Bergisch Gladbach, Geneva-based vaccination alliance Gavi, logistics firm Americold – a specialist in temperature-controlled supply chains – and most recently, just before Christmas, the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Federal Interior Ministry classifies risk of attacks as "high"

This incident in particular shows Green Party MP Konstantin von Notz that IT attacks, espionage and sabotage by foreign intelligence services are "very real dangers". Also German companies Have "long been in focus," he warns our editors.

In a response from the Federal Ministry of the Interior In response to a question from the Green Party in the Bundestag, which is available to our editorial team, the German government classifies "facilities for vaccine research, production or supply as potential targets for espionage and sabotage by foreign intelligence services". The government writes: "The danger of cyber attacks must be classified as high."

"Several suspected attempts to spy on German vaccine manufacturers have become known," as well as a ransomware incident at a company involved in the development of a vaccine. With the help of malware, the company's computer systems were to be blocked – and a Ransom extorted are. There is also a risk of cyberattacks with an intelligence background. Security companies had reported "sabotage against manufacturers of refrigeration equipment for vaccines".

Security services guard vaccination centers, federal police secure transports

Green Party member of parliament Irene Mihalic is concerned that the extreme right scene strongly mobilized. In the Vogtlandkreis district, unknown perpetrators smeared the word "poison" on signs of the vaccination center, according to the police. In Rostock, unknown persons entered a vaccination center one night in early January and caused damage.

The fact that major attacks on vaccination centers have so far failed to materialize is probably only due to the fact that the facilities have been protected from the very beginning. The Federal Police Secures vaccine shipments from the time they are taken over at the German border to the distribution centers of the federal states. Locally, municipalities such as Mulheim an der Ruhr have long hired security companies to protect vaccination centers, and this is not an isolated case.

In Kamenz near Dresden, for example, a security service secures the building, a sports hall, and the vaccination road. Also at night. Around the vaccination center, a metal fence blocks access, in a red tent, security controls the entrance.

Conspirators and right-wing extremists rant against "genocidal injections"

What makes Verfangsschutz and police nonetheless sit up and take notice is the propaganda of, for example, former TV chef and conspiracy teller Attila Hildmann. He is said to have declared on his Telegram channel "that the syringes in the vaccination centers resemble the bombs of the Dresden bombing". It must be targeted "against the injustice", it says in a response from the federal government. There are propaganda channels on the messenger service "Telegram," on which right-wing extremists, "Reich citizens" and conspiracy ideologues cavort.

Of the "vaccine dictatorship" they rant there, or of "genocidal injections". In regional groups of "D-Day 2.0," a radical conspiracy myth group, users are considering gathering outside vaccination centers. However, security authorities add, "information on the actual holding of such gatherings" is not available. So far, however, the calls to attack the alleged "vaccine dictatorship" remain propaganda on social media.

Attacks on vaccination campaign: ministry of the interior sounds the alarm

Are vaccination centers becoming the target of Islamist attacks?

In general, the security authorities "ame an "abstract threat" to companies, storage facilities for vaccine and vaccination centers due to the large media presence and the high dynamics and emotionality inherent in the "Corona" complex of topics". Protests by "vaccination opponents, corona skeptics and conspiracy theorists" must be "taken into account".

Vaccination centers, storage sites and transports of the vaccine could in principle also be a target for Islamist-motivated perpetrators represent, "since vaccination centers in particular can be expected to have large gatherings of people to which jihadist perpetrator groups and individual perpetrators attach particularly high importance".

Mihalic is not reared that no plans for concrete attacks are known. She says "how quickly absurd conspiracy narratives can turn into violence, we last saw in the attack on the Capitol". Above all, the Green politician is surprised that "possible threats" from Islamists are clearly pointed out, but the danger, which in fact comes from right-wing extremists, "is not clearly classified as a right-wing extremist threat and thus misjudged".

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