Association rejects allegations of Russian influence
The Cyber Security Council Germany e.V. excludes Protelion GmbH with immediate effect. Already after becoming aware of the allegations of influence of Russian intelligence services on Protelion GmbH through a media inquiry, an exclusion procedure was started on September 30, 2022.
President Hans-Wilhelm Dünn explains:
“The actions of Protelion GmbH are a violation of the goals of the Cyber Security Council Germany e.V. The accusations due to media reports are not compatible with the fight against cybercrime and the promotion of cybersecurity – goals to which the CSRD e.V. is more committed than ever.”
The association and its president reject the accusations of maintaining relations with Russian state agencies. Hans-Wilhelm Dünn explains:
“The accusations against the Cyber Security Council Germany e.V. of being influenced by Russian agencies are absurd. They are accusations against a single member of the CSRD e.V.. Protelion GmbH or its predecessor company Infotecs GmbH joined the association in June 2020. Since then, there have been neither discussions nor joint projects with representatives of the company. Accordingly, no influence could be exerted on the association platform and in the CSRD e.V. environment.”
Further Dünn explains:
“I strongly condemn Russia’s war of aggression on Ukraine, which is contrary to international law, and the activities of Russian intelligence services in this regard. Like the BSI, we were not aware of Protelion GmbH’s connections to Russian services. We take the allegations seriously and support the efforts of government agencies to clarify the role of Protelion GmbH in order to be able to assess the extent to which there was actually an attempt to exert influence.”
The statement by President Hans-Wilhelm Dünn, which has been picked up in various media reports, about also holding talks with intelligence services, dates from 2019 and is reproduced in abbreviated form. Mr. Dünn has not maintained contacts with active representatives of Russian state agencies. Rather, his statements generally refer to maintaining channels of communication with all relevant actors in the international security arena. This is inconceivable anyway, considering Russia’s actions and the current geopolitical situation.
In the past, the Cyber Security Council Germany e.V. has repeatedly pointed out the danger of Russian influence and worked together with its committed members on solutions for secure IT infrastructures. The misconduct of a single member of the CSRD e.V. is a bitter blow to its reputation, but it does not diminish the work done by its members and the association for more cybersecurity. Now more than ever, the cooperation of business, science and politics is needed to ensure the security of our society in cyberspace as well. The CSRD e.V. feels obliged to fight more than ever for more cyber security and against cyber crime after a review of the internal processes for the admission of members.
The Cyber Security Council Germany e.V. was founded in August 2012 by well-known personalities. The Berlin-based association is politically neutral and advises companies, public authorities and political decision-makers in the field of cyber security. The association’s members include large and medium-sized companies, operators of critical infrastructures as well as federal states and federal institutions, experts and political decision-makers with a connection to cyber security. Through its members, the association represents more than three million employees from the business community and nearly two million members from associations and clubs.
V.i.S.d.P.: Hans-Wilhelm Dünn, Präsident, Cyber-Sicherheitsrat Deutschland e.V.