Czech Republic baffled by cyber assault

2013-03-08 11:05
(Picture: <a href=\\\\http://www.shutterstock.com\\\\>Shutterstock</a>)

(Picture: Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Prague – The Czech Republic has been hit by an unprecedented wave of cyber attacks this week, with investigators stumped over their origin amid concerns they could lead to worse mayhem.

"We don't know anything about the motivation for now, because no one has claimed the attacks," said Radek Holy, spokesperson for the National Cyber Security Centre, following attacks on media, banks and telecommunications websites.

"The character of the attacks gives us absolutely no clues about the reasons" behind them, he added.

On Monday hackers launched a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack on leading Czech news websites, blocking their servers with hundreds of thousands of requests.

They targeted Seznam.cz, the most popular Czech search engine, on Tuesday before taking on the Prague Stock Exchange, the central bank and several commercial banks on Wednesday, and then two national mobile operators on Thursday.

According to Karel Kucharik, head of the country's police cyber crime squad, this week's assault constituted "the biggest attack of its kind in the Czech Republic since the internet was launched".

Hany Farghali, spokesperson for targeted Telefonica Czech Republic, said the IP (internet provider) addresses behind the attacks were Russian.

"I can confirm that we are co-operating on the international level," said Czech police spokesperson Marketa Johnova, without disclosing details "for tactical reasons".

But Holy was sceptical about the Russian link.

"We definitely can't say this attack has come from Russia. The IP addresses are not only Russian, they are from other parts of Europe too," he said, explaining the attackers were taking control of drone computers.

The computers' "owners may not even know about it," Holy added.

Hackers on Wednesday led an assault on the Czech central bank and major commercial banks including Ceska sporitelna owned by Austria's Erste Bank, Komercni banka owned by France's Societe Generale, CSOB, which is in the hands of Belgium's KBC, and the local branch of Austria's Raiffeisenbank.

Czech media were awash with speculation the following day.

They suggested it was the work of a solitary hacker looking to boost his ego, or a protest movement similar to Anonymous, or a test ahead of a more serious assault.

Holy said this was "a possibility which is however impossible to confirm".

Mikulas Ferjencik, deputy head of the Czech Pirate Party, insisted he knew nothing about the whereabouts of the attacks.

"We still don't know who's behind it. It's a bit surprising that no one has raised any claims," he said.

"We have some people who are close to the hackers' community and we have no information yet," Ferjencik said, adding he was afraid the attacks might lead the government to tighten up a cyber security bill now in the works.

"I still think the culprit is from the Czech Republic," he said.

Holy said that although he wasn't taking the attacks lightly, they were "not dangerous, rather unpleasant" for the targeted institutions.

"These attacks can't damage anything, they really merely burden the servers," he said.

"It's as if a crowd of people surrounded a building, blocked the door and the road and prevented people from going in or out, but no one would steal anything from the building itself," added Holy.

Read more on:    cybercrime
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Newlands - 08:45 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    DELAYS between Wynberg Hill and Hospital Bend
  • Friday Rondebosch - 08:45 AM
    Road name: M5 Northbound
    DELAYS between Race Course Road and the N2 Highway Interchange
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Pre-order the Xbox One

Get this all-in-one entertainment system with live TV, movies, social networking and gaming. Pre-order now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Torch 9810

The BlackBerry Torch 9810 gives you the powerful combination of...

From R2790.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be putting too much effort into someone or something. You are doing it out of love and compassion but there is a chance...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.