MOSCOW, RUSSIA - MARCH 18 (RUSSIA OUT) Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his press conference at his campaign headquarters, early March,18,2024, in Moscow, Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin has won the 2024 Presidential Elections, hosted on March 15-17. (Photo by Contributor/Getty Images)


Czech Republic targeted by Russia in ongoing cyber-attack, foreign ministry says


Czech Republic institutions have been targeted by an ongoing Russian cyber-attack since last year, according to the Czech foreign ministry.

It said the Russian APT28 group, believed to be connected to Russia’s GRU military intelligence, had exploited a vulnerability in Microsoft’s Outlook program.

The Czech ministry issued its statement after the German interior ministry said on April 25 a series of cyber-attacks attributable to the GRU targeted its governing Social Democratic Party as well as the country’s logistics, defence, aerospace and IT sectors.

“Czechia jointly with Germany, the European Union, NATO and international partners strongly condemns activities of the Russian state-controlled actor APT28, which has been conducting a long-term cyber espionage campaign in European countries,” the Czech ministry said.

The Council of the EU released a statement on May 3 condemning the attacks.

“The EU will not tolerate such malicious behaviour, particularly activities that aim to degrade our critical infrastructure, weaken societal cohesion and influence democratic processes,” it said.

Various statements published on May 3 echoed the European Commission’s Vice-President Vera Jourová’s warnings on April 18 at the GMF 2024 Brussels Forum when she said the Kremlin would likely try to interfere in June’s European Parliament elections and national votes.

The Czech ministry said: “In the context of the upcoming European elections, national elections in a number of European countries and the ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine, these acts are particularly serious and reprehensible.

“We are determined to respond strongly to this unacceptable behaviour together with our European and international partners.”

On April 22, Jean-Noël Barrot, French Minister of European Affairs, warned that his country was being “bombarded” with attempts at political interference by Russia.

“We are bombarded by propaganda from [President] Vladimir Putin’s Russia,” he claimed, arguing there was evidence the Kremlin was looking to “interfere in the [EP elections] campaign”.