November's cyber attack left foreign ministry intranet unmolested

Foreign Affairs Ministry building in Tallinn.
Foreign Affairs Ministry building in Tallinn. Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

A November cyber attack on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs failed to gain access to the internal network.

As reported on ERR News, the Information System Authority (RIA)  announced Tuesday that three ministries – along with the foreign ministry, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Ministry of Economics and Communications were targeted – suffered breaches, with personal data being copied.

While this happened in the case of the foreign ministry, its intranet remained off-limits to the attacker, ministry spokesperson Britta Tarvis told ERR Wednesday.

The ministry had servers hosting two websites, and (the first of these sites is down at the time of writing – ed.) compromised, with the copied database being publicly available in any case, Tarvis said.

She said: "No documents intended for internal use … or sensitive personal data were obtained [by the attackers] from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs."

The situation has now been resolved, and the ministry has set up a 24/7 malware surveillance program, she said.

"Unfortunately, such attempts are common everywhere, but we are prepared for that eventuality," Tarvis said.

RIA said that all three attacks bore similarities, though how many people were involved or if they were related has not been established yet.

In the case of the social affairs ministry breach, Health Board data on over 9,000 individuals was obtained, it is reported.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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