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.
An attack on the computers of the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs was
most likely carried out by another state, according to the National Cyber
and Information Security Service. The agency informed the Senate’s
Committee for Defence and Security of its findings and on Tuesday committee
members called on the government to ensure that the National Cyber and
Information Security Service devoted all the necessary attention and
resources to the issue.
Deník N reported that a cyber-attack on the Czech Foreign Ministry carried out in June was most probably the work of Russia’s military intelligence service, the GRU. The news website said this had been confirmed to it by a number of very well placed sources.
International terrorism, growing cyber threats and right-wing extremism are
the main challenges the Czech counterintelligence service BIS will have to
face in the immediate future, its head Michal Koudelka said in an interview
for the CTK news agency, on the occasion of the service’s 25th
He said the service was also having to counter the growing activities of foreign agents in the country. In recent years the service has reported on a growing number of Russian and Chinese agents in the country.
The head of the Czech counterintelligence service received a top award from America’s CIA earlier this year. He said the George Tenet Award, which recognises international cooperation, was a tribute to the work of the whole counterintelligence service.