- Hans Weber
- December 4, 2023
Czechia engaged in information war with Russia, says president
Czechia is involved in an information war with Russia, Czech President Petr Pavel noted in his opening speech at the Media and Ukraine conference in Prague on Thursday, as several institutions were targeted by cyberattacks that same day.
The conference’s organiser, Czech Radio, was the target of a massive hacker attack on the day of the conference, rendering the website inaccessible since the early morning of Thursday. Czech Radio reported that the cyberattack appears to be the conference itself.
Czechia is engaged in an information war with Russia, not a conventional one, Pavel told the conference, adding that the groundwork for Russia’s war in Ukraine was being laid down in the information space for a long time before the invasion.
Indeed, the first target of military aggressors in wartime is information because separating people from the truth helps them to win, the Czech president added.
Thursday was a busy day for hackers as the Foreign Ministry’s website had also come under a DDoS attack by the pro-Kremlin hacker group NoName during the day. DDoS attacks involve sending heavy internet traffic to websites, overwhelming their servers and causing them to crash.
“After noon, we registered a DDoS attack against the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. The activity has not yet been terminated. We are evaluating the records of the attack,” the ministry’s spokeswoman Mariana Wernerová confirmed to EURACTIV.cz in the afternoon.
According to the hacker group, the attack is related to the Foreign Ministry’s report published Wednesday and called for a change of relations with Russia. “Czech policy towards Russia in the coming months will focus on how to contribute to Ukraine’s victory in the Russian war and how to contribute to Russia’s international isolation,” announced Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský (Pirates) at the presentation of the report.
“We will further strengthen our ability to counter Russia’s hybrid actions. We want to continue to limit contact with Russia only to the basic level in precisely defined areas. We will support Russian civil society and human rights defenders,” he added.
Other Czech institutions were targeted by DDoS attacks on Thursday.
Hackers from the NoName group also claimed on their Telegram account to have attacked the Prague Florence bus station websites, the Prague Public Transport Company and the mojeID service, which is used to authenticate users in various internet services.
(Ondřej Plevák, Dávid Pásztor | EURACTIV.cz)