Spain asks civil servants to change passwords to avoid Russian cyberattacks

Martin Vorel, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The government of Spain has asked senior civil servants and diplomats to change their passwords in order to avoid potential Russian cyberattacks.

In the face of possible cyberattacks by the Russian government, the Spanish intelligence and security services have asked the central government to ask senior civil servants and diplomats to change their passwords. The advice comes from the National Cryptologic Centre, a cybersecurity body attached to the National Intelligence Centre.

This alert comes after the Ministry of Digital Transformation in Ukraine reported the largest cyberattack in the country’s history on February 15, “against state websites and the banking sector”. The minister of Digital Transformation, Mikhail Fyodorov, pointed out that the attack had been prepared in advance and had a cost “amounting to millions of dollars”.

The head of the Ukrainian Security Council’s cybersecurity department, Ilya Vityuk, said that while it was too early to point to a direct perpetrator, it could not have been a lone hacker or small group, given the high cost of such an operation. “These types of attacks are carried out by states through intelligence services and specially created infrastructure. We clearly see the footprint of foreign intelligence services,” he said.

Although Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov said Russia had “nothing to do with” the cyberattack reported by Ukraine, the US, Britain and France all accused Russia of being responsible for the attack. Ukraine had previously suffered another massive cyberattack in mid-January that blocked dozens of websites, and the latest one took place before Russian troops invaded Ukraine this week.

Over the past few days, it has been Russia that has suffered from cyberattacks. The official websites of the Kremlin, the State Duma, the state gas company Gazprom and several media outlets, including the government-owned Russia Today, have all been blocked.

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Written by

Tamsin Brown

Originally from London, Tamsin is based in Malaga and is a local reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering Spanish and international news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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