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Security body to support ministries in fighting hackers

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Prague, Feb 8 (CTK) – The Czech National Security Office (NBU) will provide ministries with strong methodological support and maintain contact with their IT experts, the government has agreed in reaction to recent hacker attacks on the Foreign Ministry, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said yesterday.
Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek (Social Democrats, CSSD) said the hacking of the ministry’s emails cannot be disparaged.
Sobotka (CSSD) said the government assigned the NBU and ministries to reinforce prevention and security.
He said he wants to work for the bill establishing a national office for cyber and information security to quickly make it through parliament.
The body is to be separated from the NBU.
Since the beginning of February, former NBU director Dusan Navratil has been in charge of the sphere of cyber and information security. He was replaced by Jiri Lang at the head of the NBU.
Zaoralek announced the hacker attack on his ministry on Tuesday last week. The attackers hacked the email accounts of some employees of the ministry, including Zaoralek and some of his deputies.
Experts say the attack must have been made by another country and that it resembled the attack on the U.S. Democratic Party’s Internet system.
The U.S. secret services blamed it on Russia.
The Czech Foreign Ministry followed the hackers’ activities from early January.
Zaoralek said yesterday the hack “is being investigated by the secret services, the NBU, I have filed a criminal complaint with the police.”
He said it was a mistake that the ministry reduced the IT department within the austerity measures in the past years. It is now difficult to again extend it.
Hinting at what President Milos Zeman has said, Zaoralek dismissed the view that the Czech Republic is not interesting for hackers.
“It is unnecessary self-underestimation. We are a country, which necessarily attracts attention, we are members of the European Union, NATO. Many pieces of information that are processed here are of interest to many,” he said.
Zeman said last week the hacking of the Foreign Ministry was not dangerous. The Czech Republic, being a small to medium-sized country, does not arouse great powers’ extreme interest, he said.

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