The EU’s Embassy In Moscow Was Hacked and Kept It Secret
A “sophisticated cyber espionage event” began in February 2017. Russian entities are said to be behind piracy, a source told BuzzFeed News.
The European Union embassy in Moscow was compromised and information was stolen, according to an internal document leaked by BuzzFeed News.
An ongoing “sophisticated cyber espionage event” was discovered in April, just weeks before the European Parliament elections – but the European External Action Service (EEAS), the EU’s foreign and security policy agency, did not disclose the incident publicly.
The Russian entities would be behind the attack, a source who spoke on condition of anonymity told BuzzFeed News.
The EEAS confirmed the occurrence of a cyber-attack and asked if the EU foreign policy officer Federica Mogherini was aware of the incident and stated that the EEAS hierarchy had been informed. “We have observed potential signs of compromised systems connected to our unclassified network in our Moscow Delegation. Measures have been taken and the investigation is in progress — at this stage we cannot comment further,” a spokesperson said.
According to the leaked document, the initial attack took place in February 2017 but was detected only in April this year. An analysis of hack revealed an activity involving at least two computers and concluded that the information had been stolen.
However, officials have no idea about the type of information gathered during the attack. The analysis determined that cyber espionage hacking was an Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) – a continuous, clandestine and sophisticated hacking technique used to gain access to a system and remain undetected for a long period of time.
According to this leaked document, these types of attacks are tried against other European foreign affairs ministries. The source that reported to BuzzFeed News about Russian groups were behind the hacking of the EEAS in Moscow, also confirmed that member states were not informed of the incident.
But the EEAS spokesman said that member states were informed: “through established channels (cyber defense channels)”.
In view of the May European Parliament elections, the EU has taken a series of measures to combat cyber attacks, including an action plan against misinformation, including evidence of ongoing aggression and interference on the part of foreign actors, mainly Russia.
According to BuzzFeed News, some officials claim that the bloc and some European governments are not doing enough to thwart Russian activity because they underestimate or downplay the threat.
In his only public statement as a special advisor last month, Robert Mueller said his investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections revealed that “Russian intelligence officers in the Russian military launched a concerted attack on our political system.” He used sophisticated computer techniques to hack computers and networks used by the Clinton campaign. ”
He concluded that there were “multiple systematic efforts to interfere in our elections”.
The same group that hacked the Democratic National Committee was also behind a hacking against the German parliament the previous year.
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Kevin Jones, Ph.D., is a research associate and a Cyber Security Author with experience in Penetration Testing, Vulnerability Assessments, Monitoring solutions, Surveillance and Offensive technologies etc. Currently, he is a freelance writer on latest security news and other happenings. He has authored numerous articles and exploits which can be found on popular sites like hackercombat.com and others.