2020.01.10 17:30

Lithuania's cyber defence braces for attacks on infrastructure

Kristina Karlonė, LRT TV, LRT.lt2020.01.10 17:30

Some 150 cyberattacks target Lithuanian people, businesses and national institutions daily, according to the National Cyber Security Centre. The threat against the country's infrastructure is growing, a defence vice minister says.

The cybersecurity centre in Kaunas, Lithuania’s second largest city, can see attacks unfold in real time. The number and the complexity of attacks are increasing, according to the centre's representatitves, and the number of serious incidents has increased threefold over the past few years.

“The criminals [...] try to collect information about Lithuania and its institutions, take over the networks, and send the data to unfriendly nations,” says Defence Vice Minister Edvinas Kerza.

Read more: German troops taught to resist cyber attacks in Lithuania

The centre is developing an early warning systems that could detect cyber threats. One of the areas in need of protection is Lithuania’s energy sector.

Officials in Vilnius worry that when the country desynchronises from the Moscow-controlled BRELL energy network linking the Baltic states and Belarus with Russia, the national infrastructure could come under attack.

“The risk is increasing that after disconnecting [from BRELL] there will be attempts to attack, shut down and hinder all of our systems,” says Kerza.

Lithuania rose in the global cybersecurity ranking from 57th to number four in two years.

Read more: Lithuanian-led EU cyber force readies for deployment

President Gitanas Nausėda, who visited the National Cybersecurity Centre in Kaunas this week, says Lithuania has "one of the most powerful cybersecurity centres on the global stage”.

The cybersecurity centre in Kaunas was established in cooperation with US forces. Next year, the centre will move to new facilities and will welcome staff from Georgia, Ukraine, and the US.

Read more: Cyber security drills pin Lithuanian media, private and military sectors in fight against hacking

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