Cyber attack on the Austrian Foreign Ministry

[German]At the weekend (Saturday evening, January 4, 2020) there was a serious cyber attack on the Austrian Foreign Ministry, as a speaker of the Ministery confirmed. It is assumed that state actors are behind the attack.


Already on Sunday, January 5, 2020, various media such as ORF or Tagesschau reported the attack. The attack started on Saturday Januar 4, 2020 and continued on Sunday, according to the spokesman for the Foreign Office, Peter Guschelbauer, in a press release. The problem had been recognized very quickly and technical countermeasures had been initiated immediately, as the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of the Interior announced in an OTS broadcast late Saturday evening.

(Source: Pexels Markus Spiske CC0 License)

A coordination committee was also activated on the basis of the Network and Information System Security Act, the Ministery stated. "Despite all intensive security precautions, there is no 100% protection against cyber attacks. The state protection mechanisms provided for this purpose are active at all levels. Due to the severity and nature of the attack, it is suspected that a state actor is behind it," said a spokesman for the ministry. Further details have not been disclosed.

In September before the National Council elections, the ÖVP had reported a "very targeted hacker attack" on the party headquarters. According to the report, the hacker or hackers are said to have gained access to the ÖVP systems on July 27 and "exfiltrated" 1.3 terabytes of data by the end of August. In this case, a trail led to France: data was transferred to a French server. Even before the National Council elections in 2017, the ÖVP homepage was temporarily unavailable after a hacker attack.

In the year before, the websites of the Austrian parliament and various ministries had been the victims of so-called DDoS attacks ("Distributed Denial of Service"). In these attacks, websites or programs are flooded with so many requests until the services finally fail. In July 2011 the homepages of the SPÖ and FPÖ were attacked by hackers. Instead of the homepage, the logo of the hacker group "Anonymous" was visible for hours.


Cookies helps to fund this blog: Cookie settings

This entry was posted in Security and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *