Germany's domestic intelligence agency says Russia was likely behind a cyberattack on Germany's lower house of parliament last year, which forced its computer system to be temporarily shut down.

The BfV intelligence agency said a group known as Sofacy, or APT 28, was behind the parliament cyberattack and said it has indications that the group is being steered by Russian intelligence.

The head of BfV, Hans-Georg Maassen, said most of the campaigns carried out by Russian intelligence "have generally been focused on obtaining information." However, he said that "lately Russian intelligence have also shown a willingness to conduct sabotage."

BfV identified another hacking campaign that it said appeared to have been aimed at universities, energy companies and telecommunications firms.

Tensions between Germany and Russia have increased in recent years following Moscow's annexation of Crimea and its intervention in Syria.

Last year's cyberattack on Germany's parliament forced authorities to shut down the computer system for several days before being able to repair it.