German Defence Minister: Unprotected line caused information leak on Taurus missile supply to Ukraine

Tuesday, 5 March 2024

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius has said that the interception of classified information on the supply of Taurus missiles to Ukraine occurred because one of the Bundeswehr officers joined the conversation via an unprotected line.

As reported by Tagesschau, according to Pistorius, one of the participants who called from Singapore used an open unencrypted channel to participate in the conversation, which was carried out via the online platform Webex.

"Our communication systems have not been compromised. The reason the air force call could nonetheless be recorded was because of an individual's operational mistake," said Pistorius, as quoted by Reuters.

He emphasised that the use of the unencrypted Webex platform for conversation was permitted, noting that it was not ready-made software, but rather specially certified, with servers in Bundeswehr computing centres in Germany.


According to the official, Russia most likely intercepted the military call by accident as a result of large-scale surveillance, rather than with the help of a spy or compromised German systems.

Pistorius added that disciplinary proceedings have been initiated against the participants of the conversation.

As reported earlier, the Federal Ministry of Defence of Germany initiated an investigation into whether the conversations of representatives of its air force – who, according to Russian propaganda, allegedly discussed blowing up the Crimean bridge with Taurus missiles – were intercepted.

Subsequently, Germany's Defence Ministry confirmed that an internal conversation between German Air Force officers had been intercepted. German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius commented on the scandal, noting that it is a hybrid attack with the aim of misinformation.

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