News Local Hackers hacked EU diplomats through Cyprus

Hackers hacked EU diplomats through Cyprus

Hackers accessed the European Union’s diplomatic communications network for years, downloading cables that reveal concerns about the Trump administration, struggles to deal with Russia and China and the risk of Iran reviving its nuclear program, the New York Times reported late on Tuesday.

More than 1,100 cables were supplied to the Times by security firm Area 1 after it discovered the breach, the newspaper said, adding that Area 1 investigators believed the hackers worked for the China’s People’s Liberation Army.

The NYT report that “the cables were exposed after a run-of-the-mill phishing campaign aimed at diplomats in Cyprus pierced the island nation’s systems,” said Oren Falkowitz, the chief executive of Area 1.

“People talk about sophisticated hackers, but there was nothing really sophisticated about this,” Mr. Falkowitz said. After getting into the Cyprus system, the hackers had access to passwords that were needed to connect to the European Union’s entire database of exchanges.

The cables include memorandums of conversations with leaders in Saudi Arabia, Israel and other countries that were shared across the European Union, according to the report.

One cable, the Times said, shows European diplomats describing a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Finland as “successful (at least for Putin).”

Another, written after a July 16 meeting, relayed a detailed report and analysis of talks between European officials and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who was quoted comparing Trump’s “bullying” of Beijing to a “no-rules freestyle boxing match.”

A third, from March 7, shows Caroline Vicini, the deputy head of the EU mission in Washington, recommending the trade bloc’s diplomats to describe the United States as “our most important partner” even as it challenged Trump “in areas where we disagreed with the U.S. (e.g., on climate, trade, Iran nuclear deal).”

The hackers also infiltrated the networks of the United Nations, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), and ministries of foreign affairs and finance worldwide, the report added.

(With information from NYT and Reuters)

Top Stories

Cyprus President congratulates US President and Vice President for assuming their duties

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades congratulated on Wednesday US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris for the assumption of their duties. “We stand ready...

Presentations of reservists postponed due to COVID-19

Taking into consideration the epidemiological situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Defense Ministry announced that the postponement of all presentations of the reservists...

Parliament to report government to INTOSAI

The House Watchdog Committee will report the government to the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) because of reactions to the checking of...

Shooting federation examines cases of athletes’ sexual abuse

Speaking to philenews, President of the Shooting Federation of Cyprus Tziovanis Savvides said the federation has information about four cases of sexual abuse, in...

Health Minister on Indications that spreading of virus has been contained

In a written statement after his meeting with the Advisory Epidemiological Committee on COVID-19, Health Minister Konstantinos Ioannou said that there are indications that...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...