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Czech Foreign Minister: Emails Hacked by Foreign State

Zaoralek did not specify the country suspected of being behind the hack, but said it was similar to the theft of Democratic National Committee

The Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic, Lubomír Zaorálek, speaks during a joint press conference after a meeting with his his counterpart from Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, at the Foreign Ministry in Berlin, Germany, photo: AP/Michael Sohn
11 months ago

PRAGUE – The Czech Republic’s foreign minister said Tuesday that his email account and the accounts of dozens of ministry officials have been successfully hacked.

The January cyber attack was sophisticated, and experts believe it was done by a foreign state, Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek said.

Zaorálek did not specify the country suspected of being behind the hack, but said it was similar to the theft of Democratic National Committee emails in the United States.

U.S. intelligence agencies have alleged that email accounts of prominent Democrats were hacked as part of a campaign ordered by President Vladimir Putin to influence the presidential election in favor of Donald Trump. Moscow denies the allegation.

In the Czech Republic, experts from the National Cyber Security Centre, spy agencies and the foreign ministry have been investigating the January attack and taking measures to prevent more in the future.

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka called the attack “serious.”

“The issue has to be thoroughly investigated,” he said.

The breach was discovered during a security check. Zaorálek said a large amount of data was involved, but he told a news conference that no classified information had been compromised.

He said the case shows a need for funding to ensure the country’s cybersecurity.

Zaorálek said experts have to check out whether any other state institutions have been targeted for similar attacks.

He said his ministry has faced cyberattacks before, but none were successful until now.

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