Premier: Foreign Affairs Ministry Subjected to Sophisticated Cyberattack

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Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, October 17 (TASR) – The Slovak Foreign and European Affairs Ministry has become the target of a massive cyberattack, Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD) said after a Security Council session on Wednesday, adding that at the moment it’s not possible to specify who is behind the attack.

“This attack has been revealed by the Military Intelligence Service due to unusual computer behaviour. Following a thorough analysis they confirmed that it hasn’t been a common infection, but a sophisticated malicious code that allows attackers to filter data from inside the organisation onto attackers’ servers abroad,” said Pellegrini.

The premier went on to say that the issues concerning the identity of attackers and the subject of their interest are currently the main objective of the ongoing documentation. “Based on the information we have, I have tasked the Military Intelligence director with examining the security of the entire government network,” he said.

Pellegrini further praised the readiness of the Slovak Military Intelligence Service. “This attack has been activated from abroad, it is a supranational sophisticated spy organisation, and it’s essential for us to start co-operating with teams that examine similar attacks in the surrounding countries. That’s why we’ve decided to publish the information (about the attack) and show that Slovakia is able to detect such things and take countermeasures,” said the premier.

When asked whether or not any secret information leaked from the computers, the premier provided the journalists only with a vague answer. “Fortunately, the entire ministry’s system was not put out of order. The question of what the attackers could see at the ministry is being examined. However, the measures have been taken continuously, so that no damage is caused to the Slovak Republic,” he said.