German tourists shot at with crossbow

A 31-year-old man has appeared in court, charged with shooting at two German tourists with a crossbow in Vienna last summer.

German tourists shot at with crossbow
Vienna's 2nd district. Photo: Wikipedia

The Germans, both 17, told the court that they were on a sightseeing tour, and were returning to their hotel in the 2nd district when they saw the man standing at the window of his second floor apartment, holding a crossbow in his hand.

He called out to them “hello!”, and then took aim and pulled the trigger.

The youths heard a "pop" and ran and hid out of sight against a wall. They recalled how with beating hearts, crouching down low, they made their way back to hotel, and called the police. Police found an arrow on the street, very close to where the teenagers had been standing.

The 31-year-old said after his arrest that he had just wanted to “scare” the boys and “make them run”. However, according to the court psychiatrist the man suffers from schizoaffective disorder and was not capable of realising the severity of his actions. Experts said he didn’t seem to know he was mentally ill, and was not taking medication.

Since he could not be held criminally responsible, the man could not be convicted for attempted serious bodily harm but was admitted to a psychiatric institution, for a five-year probationary period.

Since his arrest the man has been taking medication and his condition has improved significantly.

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Austria probes claim spyware targeted law firms and banks

Austria said Friday that it was investigating a report that an Austrian company developed spyware targeting law firms, banks and consultancies in at least three countries.

Austria probes claim spyware targeted law firms and banks

Microsoft’s security team earlier this week said it found that a malware called Subzero — developed by Vienna-based company DSIRF — was deployed in 2021 and 2022.

“Observed victims to date include law firms, banks and strategic consultancies in countries such as Austria, the United Kingdom and Panama,” it wrote in a blog entry on Wednesday.

Austria’s interior ministry said it had not received reports of any incidents.

READ ALSO: Austria wary of cyber attacks after personal data of foreign residents leaked online

“Of course, (intelligence agency) DSN checks the allegations. So far, there is no proof of the use of spy software from the company mentioned,” it said in a statement.

Austria’s Kurier newspaper cited DSIRF as saying that Subzero had not been misused and “was developed exclusively for use by authorities in EU states” and was not commercially available.

DSIRF did not immediately return a request for comment from AFP.

Austria’s interior ministry said it knew of the company but “has not had any business relationships” with it.

Last year several media outlets reported that governments around the world, including in the EU, had used Pegasus spyware made by Israel’s NSO Group to spy on opponents.

Budapest and Warsaw responded that the use of Pegasus was for legitimate national security reasons.