State institution in Slovakia target of ransomware attacks

Their targets in the past include the Greek government websites such as the foreign ministry’s and army’s websites, but also Honda’s website in Greece. [Shutterstock/Maksim Shmeljov]

The National Security Authority (NBÚ) registered a series of significant ransomware attacks on targets in Slovakia on Friday, that saw hackers request hundreds of thousands of euros for reopening the systems and restoring their full functionality.

Authorities are urging all companies and institutions in the country to immediately secure and back up their systems against a potential attack.

“At the moment, the National Security can confirm that these cyber-attacks have affected the information technology sectors in public administration, telecommunications, energy and the IT. We cannot provide more details publicly due to the sensitivity of the matter,” the NBÚ announced on social media.

Among the reported incidents was the most serious third-degree cyber security incident under the Cyber Security Act – with potential consequences for elements of the state’s critical infrastructure.

Ransomware is one of the biggest threats to data that involves an attacker infiltrating a system, encrypting access to it, and possibly asking for a ransom from the owner or operator so that access to the system is restored.

The NBÚ has confirmed that this method was performed by hackers in several Slovakian organisations, where they managed to encrypt critical data and limit the functioning and work activity of several Slovakian organisations and institutions. (Irena Jenčová | EURACTIV.sk)

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