Cyber attack targeted Lithuanian defense minister

Defense minister Raimundas Karoblis and government institutions were the targets of a small cyber attack against Lithuania on Thursday.

The attack consisted of three different elements. First institutions from the government, ministries, and embassies received emails containing an attached file with a virus. Then at 19.15 hackers took over the website tv3.lt and posted a fake news story discrediting defense minister Karoblis. The story was online for about five minutes before the TV-channel managed to remove it.

The fake story was written in decent Lithuanian, according to delfi.lt. It claimed that Karoblis had sexually harassed a (male) journalist and at least eight anonymous diplomats. The hackers attacked from a server in Saint Petersburg.

The third element of the attack was another fake news story that appeared on foreign websites claiming that Lithuania had introduced sanctions against Mongolia. Apparently this gave the Lithuanian diplomacy some extra work, and they consider it a conscious provocation.

Karoblis is known as an avid advocate for a tough military line against Russia. It is suspected that the cyber attack is a response to Lithuania’s so-called Magnitsky list which was published on Monday. This list bans 49 named Russians from Lithuania.

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