Eastern hackers attacking Lithuanian institutions, citizens

October 26, 2007 at 7:48 pm Leave a comment

The Presidential PalaceAs the Lithuanian daily Lietuvos Rytas announced on October 24, the Internet hackers attempted to verify the vigilance of Lithuanian specialists – the series of attacks from Russia that shook Estonia a while ago may become reality in Lithuania.

As the BNS reported the President’s Office, the Foreign Ministry and Lithuanian embassies abroad have come under hacker attacks, however, specialists of these institutions noticed and avoided the attempts in time.

According to the daily, if the attempts were not successful, the software virus contained in an e-mail from the President’s Office as an alleged sender would have spread to all diplomatic missions via the Foreign Ministry. The daily described the attack as of political character – a reverberation of the Vilnius Energy Security Conference, which the official Kremlin dismissed as “anti-Russian.”

Immediately after closure of the energy forum in late hours of October 11, the Foreign Ministry received a letter allegedly sent from the President’s Office. The communication was intended for all Lithuanian embassies abroad.In the conclusions of the conference attached to the electronic letter, there was another electronic file with a virus.

The ministry’s security systems immediately identified the threat and blocked the infected file. Information technologies specialists determined that the letter did not come from the server of the President’s Office but, most probably, from Germany.

Officials of the President’s Office refrained from comments on the attack, explaining that it caused no serious danger and had not yet been investigated.

Nevertheless, the incident had triggered anxiety at the President’s Office, according to information available to the daily.

The President’s Office suspects that it could have been an ironic – allegedly amateur – step by Internet hackers from the East who attempted to demonstrate Lithuania’s vulnerability to their attacks.

Lithuanian historian Gediminas Kulikauskas whose specialization is Lithuania’s resistance to Soviet forces and occupational administration also came under an attack of anti-Russian hackers in the past days. His personal Internet website was recently supplemented with a photograph of Lithuanian guerilla with an insulting Russian-language text: “A good bandit is a dead bandit.”

Next day the BNS announce that the Lithuanian Foreign Minister Petras Vaitiekunas is not associating the attempts to send viruses to computers of Lithuanian institutions with the virtual attacks that took place in Estonia this spring.

“The Foreign Ministry’s IT department stopped the virus on time, no damage was done to our information system. We do not think that this event is in any way related with other events that took place in the Baltic States or someplace else earlier,” Vaitiekunas told the media on October 24.

As the BNS reported in minister’s words, the attempts to send a computer virus in a purported electronic letter from the President’s Office to the Foreign Ministry and Lithuania’s embassies abroad is currently being investigated by special services that must identify the source of the hazardous letter. “Special services are doing their job and they are investigating (where the virus was sent from). We only ensure the safety of our systems,” Vaitiekunas said.

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Entry filed under: Baltic States, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Northern Europe, Politics, Russia, Totalitarian regimes.

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