Cyber crime

  6 Debates

A major hacker attack against hundreds of German politicians and public figures became public on Friday. The authorities have confirmed that their phone numbers, addresses, copies of tenancy agreements and voice messages were posted online via Twitter. This sets alarm bells ringing for journalists.

In April of this year the Netherlands expelled four Russians who were allegedly involved in an attempt to hack the computer network of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in the Hague, the Ministry of Defence announced on Thursday. It suspects that the Russian intelligence agency GRU was behind the attack. How should Europe react to Russian cyber-attacks?

Latvia's e-healthcare system has been hit by a cyberattack. Its online platform for medical prescriptions was left paralysed on Tuesday after it was flooded with thousands of requests per second from more than 20 different countries, the country's ministry of health announced. Latvian commentators are scathingly critical of the way the authorities responded to the attack.

It remains unclear who was behind the latest cyberattack that caused disruptions in roughly 80 countries. But even if we don't know who is responsible we can protect ourselves against future attacks, many commentators believe. Some call for tougher punishment for perpetrators who are caught.

At least 200,000 users were hit on Friday when criminals paralysed computer systems in roughly 150 countries with a global cyber attack. The hackers exploited a security loophole in the Windows operating system and demanded ransom money in exchange for unlocking the data. Microsoft later claimed that the US intelligence agency NSA had withheld information on system loopholes. Europe's commentators ask what lessons can be learned from the events last weekend.

Unknown hackers brought international programming at the French-language television network TV5Monde to a halt on Wednesday night, and left warnings by the terrorist militia IS on the station's website. Sensitive IT systems should be better protected against such attacks, commentators urge, saying that many states are not interested in concerted cyber defence measures.