Germany's Christian Democratic party hit by 'serious' cyberattack

The rule of Germany's far-right AfD in Sonneberg

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the country's leading opposition party, has been hit by a major cyberattack and has taken parts of its IT-infrastructure off the grid as a precautionary measure, authorities said on Saturday.

"There was a serious cyber attack on the CDU network," Germany's Interior Ministry said in a statement, adding security authorities were working intensively to fend off and investigate the attack, and prevent further damage.

The ministry did not disclose any details about the scope of the attack or the suspected perpetrators.

"However, the manner in which the attack was carried out points to a very professional actor," it said.

News about the attack comes after a major European sting operation targeting international cybercrime led to four arrests in Ukraine and Armenia on Thursday.

The ministry said security authorities have ramped up all protective measures against digital and hybrid threats, adding that the incident showed how important this was, particularly ahead of the June 6-9 European Parliament elections.

The CDU has taken down and isolated parts of its IT infrastructure, the party said in a separate statement, adding public authorities had launched an investigation.

(Reporting by Andreas Rinke and Christoph Steitz; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)