Russia Suspected in Hacking of Czech Diplomat Emails

Media Division | February 1, 2017

Nation state cyber attacks have become a very concerning proposition.  Not only can cyber attacks be employed upon organizations for illicit financial gains, but they can also be used against governments and politicians to gain valuable intelligence, and for other malicious purposes.

There was a recent breach of senior diplomat’s emails in the Czech Republic, which is suspected to have been perpetrated by Russia.   Even the country’s foreign minister, Lubomír Zaorálek, has admitted that his own email was hacked in the attack.  And he compares the breach to the recent hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), during the election campaigns last year.  The breach prompted emergency security measures, including password changes, after being discovered this month by cyber experts at the Czech foreign ministry.

Was Confidential Information Stolen?

While some sources have reported that the breach was able to purloin critical information, including correspondence with NATO and European allies, Zaorálek has contradicted reports that any confidential information was stolen.  He has not specified which country he believes is behind the attack, but another anonymous foreign ministry official has confirmed that Russia is suspected.  He stated in a news conference, “When I discussed this with the best experts that we have here, they told me that the character of the attack was such that the attack was very sophisticated, that it must have been, according to them, conducted by some foreign state, from the outside.”  He also said, “They also told me that the way the attack was done very much resembles the character of attacks against the system of the Democratic party in the United States.”

Zaorálek said the ministry had known about the breach since the beginning of January, and that it was necessary to check whether any other government institutions had been breached as well.

Cyber security expert, Vlado Bizik, has said that the attack resembled another that was employed against the Polish foreign ministry, which was also believed to be sourced from Russia.  Bizik said that the Polish attack employed a hard-to-detect Trojan horse, and that these types of sophisticated programmes are typically sponsored by state actors, of which Russia has the most to gain.

Cyber attacks can potentially result in irreparable damage or loss.  This is why it is so critical for organizations to be able to monitor cyber threats, and proactively defend against them.  Massive Alliance offers extremely thorough cyber threat monitoring to be able to protect your organization from threats.

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