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Traces of the latest wave of cyberattacks that swept across one of the European countries once again lead to Russia, leaving no one surprised. As you might have guessed, I’m talking about large-scale hacks of Czech hospitals, where local detectives saw a Russian footprint. Moreover, these attacks were so serious a scale that they were even noted by the U.S. State Department.
Czech law enforcement officials say almost all of the IP addresses that took part in the attacks on Czech hospitals are Russia-based.
No surprise here, either. Moreover, I’m convinced that the latest effort was the response to a certain event that was earlier reported in the Czech Republic.
The thing is that a monument to Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev was recently dismantled in Prague. The move caused a serious stir in the Russian media and the highest Kremlin offices, up to the point that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in a letter to the Czech military asked then to hand the dismantled monument over to Russia . In turn, Czech defense agency’s spox Jan Pejsek rather diplomatically refused, noting that Shoigu addressed “the wrong body” with his appeal
It is not surprising that after this incident, Czech hospitals experienced the wrath of Russian defense ministry’s cyber groups. It should be noted that it’s the GRU military intelligence that oversees those cyber teams operating under the auspices of Russia’s defense ministry.
By the way, last year the Czech Foreign Ministry boasted of the results of a thorough investigation into cyberattacks it sustained in 2016. National cyber security experts in June 2019 blamed for those attacks the Russian GRU and the APT28 /Sofacy team it supervises.
And therefore it is not surprising that immediately after the Czech authorities delivered a blow to what Russia believes is its “historic greatness”, Russian hackers immediately surfaced to take action. The most disgusting thing here though is that the Russians chose for their attacks vulnerable civilian targets – hospitals – rather than, say, the Czech Foreign Ministry or the Ministry of Defense.