Cyber Attacks in Central Europe

When a newspaper article can conclude with: “There were no other reports of hackers attacking websites in neighboring countries in Central Europe on Wednesday”, then cybercrime has become a mainstream activity affecting institions all over the world, not just in Central Europe.

Hackers Hit Czech Websites in Latest Wave of Cyber-Attacks” is how Wall Street Journal’s Emerging Europe blog headlined a recent spate of attacks on Czech and Hungarian financial, news and non-governmental websites – including the Prague Stock Exchange and the Czech Central Bank. The Czech police investigating the attacks said they were ‘currently unable to confirm the location of the hackers’.

That, of course, is the whole point of being a hacker – you could be on a beach in the Caribbean while successfully hacking a central European financial website – or anyone else’s, for that matter. A spokesperson for one of the hacked banks said: “In no case has there been any loss of client data. At the current moment we are intensively working on counter-measures which will enable us to restore services for our clients.” While it’s good news that client data was not lost, the wrong time to work (however urgently) on counter-measures is after the attack has already succeeded in disrupting services. On the whole, history teaches that the best time to work on counter-measures is BEFORE you are attacked.

Lots of organisations around the world may already not have been attacked – that means they still have the time to work on counter-measures – which they need to do urgently!