German Chancellor Angela Merkel, smiles as she arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
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A top leader of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party said her website had been hit by thousands of cyber attacks -- many from Russian IP addresses -- before Sunday's televised election debate.Julia Kloeckner, vice chairman of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), said on Monday that her political website had seen some 3,000 attacks on Sunday before the debate between Merkel and Social Democratic leader Martin Schulz.Following a pattern seen in earlier hacks, the CDU's headquarters in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, where Kloeckner is the party's leader, also experienced "massive attacks" ahead of the debate, she said.Hans-Georg Maassen, the head of Germany's BfV domestic intelligence agency, told reporters in July that Berlin expected Russia to try to influence this month's election and said he suspected that Russian President Vladimir Putin would prefer a different German chancellor than Merkel.
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