The Czech Security Intelligence Service (BIS) said in its annual report on Monday that Russian intelligence agencies launched a cyber attack against the Czech Foreign Ministry last year. The BIS counter-intelligence department has long warned that Russia has such activities in the Czech Republic.
According to the results of the security investigation, the hacker organization APT28 has carried out two cyber attacks on the information infrastructure of the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is related to the Russian government and other cyber attacks that have been accused in Germany and the United States.
According to BIS, all the conclusions indicate that this is the cyber espionage organization Turla and APT28/Sofacy, of which Turla is from the Russian Federal Security Service, while APT28/Sofacy is related to the Russian Military Intelligence Agency GRU.
BIS officials said, “the MFA electronic communication system had been compromised at least since the beginning of 2016 when the attackers accessed more than 150 mailboxes of the MFA staff and copied emails, including attachments.”
At the time, the Czech Foreign Ministry believed that this was a cyber attack supported by foreign forces, but said that no confidential materials were damaged. However, hackers have access to data that can be used for future attacks, as well as a list of potential targets for almost all major national institutions. As in previous years, the report warned that Russia still uses intelligence officials who are disguised as diplomatic agents to act against EU and NATO member states, and this is also its usual strategy.
The Russian government did not immediately comment on the allegations of BIS on Monday.