This Tuesday is “Safer Internet Day”, part of an initiative of the EU SafeBorders project launched in 2004 to raise awareness of threats posed to children online. In the Czech Republic, police have noted a significant rise in cybercrime in recent years, with children increasingly falling victim to bullying and online predators.
Almost every fifth Czech company faced a cyberattack last year, a rise of 20 percent year on year, according to data released by the Czech Statistics Office. The most common form of cyberattack was the so-called “distributed denial-of-service”, triggering a collapse of normal traffic by overwhelming the server. However hackers also often deployed extortion programs known as “ransomware” that make data or even an entire system inaccessible until the attacker is paid off.
Close to one in five companies was exposed to a cyberattack in 2018, a year
on year increase of around 20 percent, according to new data released by
the Czech Statistics Agency. The most common form of attack was
denial-of-service, wherein the perpetrator floods the targeted resource
with superfluous requests in an attempt to overload systems and prevent
legitimate requests from being fulfilled.
The most endangered entities are the state administration, banks, energy companies and, increasingly, universities. Experts say that the threats that companies face are not only external but sometimes from the businesses’ own employees too.
A hospital in the central Bohemian town of Benešov which was hit by a
cyber-attack on December 11 is once again fully operational. The attack
paralyzed the institution for days since staff were unable to use x-rays,
ultrasound or laboratory instruments and could not exchange information
with other hospitals.
Just last week a similar attack paralyzed the OKD coal mining company which was forced to stop mining in all of its mines for security reasons.
The cabinet is due to debate a proposed amendment to the law on cyber security in the coming days, which would give Military Intelligence broader powers, among others the right to continuously monitor public communications networks.
The cabinet is due to debate a proposed amendment to the law on cyber
security in the coming days, the head of Military Intelligence Jan Beroun
told the ctk news agency. The amendment is now being studied by Prime
Minister Andrej Babiš, and should be addressed by members of the State
The bill would give Military Intelligence broader powers, among others the right to continuously monitor public communications networks.
The country has seen two big cyberattacks in the past few weeks, targeting a hospital in Benešov and the OKD coal mining company. Previous attempts to amend the law have failed due to privacy concerns.
The coal mining company OKD which was hit by a cyber-attack on Monday is
renewing operations in all its mines on Friday after the installation of an
independent internal computer network.
Coal mining was suspended in the wake of the attack for security reasons, despite the fact that methane detectors remained fully operational.
The OKD company’s computer network was hit just two weeks after a similar attack paralysed a hospital in the central Bohemian town of Benešov.
Benešov hospital in central Bohemia which was hit by a cyberattack a
fortnight ago is slowly returning to normal with all departments, with the
exception of the internal medicine department, now admitting patients.
The attack paralyzed the institution for days since staff were unable to use x-rays, ultrasound or laboratory instruments and could not exchange information with other hospitals. Police specialists are still investigating the ransomware attack.
UK journalist Misha Glenny is an expert on organised crime and cybersecurity and has written a number of books, including the hit title McMafia. He studied in Prague and did a lot of reporting from the city in the late 1980s, including during the Velvet Revolution. At present he also heads a committee guaranteeing the independence of editors and journalists at the Economia group, which publishes titles such as Hospodářské noviny and Respekt. Czech Radio’s Lenka Kabrhelová sat down with Misha Glenny recently and began by asking him about the nature
This week’s release of the Czech Security Information Service’s (BIS) annual report was widely covered by Czech media and even some foreign outlets. What stood out was the considerable amount of detail that the public version contained on Russian and Chinese spying operations in the country last year. So what are these two states up to? And what are their reasons?