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2021.08.12 15:20

Hackers steal 'classified' documents, Lithuanian official say riots may be connected

updated
LRT.lt2021.08.12 15:20

An alleged hacker has announced on RaidForums, a database sharing platform also used by cyber criminals, he would be selling over 1.6 million emails and various documents stolen from the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry.

The ministry confirmed on Wednesday that an “information-cyber-attack” attack took place, but did not comment further.

On Thursday, it reiterated that “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs cannot confirm the information in the public space, therefore, will not comment”.

Lithuanian president’s office, meanwhile, has confirmed that documents were stolen, some of them labelled “classified”.

Read more: ‘Important documents’ stolen from Lithuanian Foreign Ministry, president's adviser says

The forum user claims that the documents include “preparations for war with Belarus”, including a “nuclear strike”.

The major Russian–Belarusian military drills Zapad-2021 are due to kick off in September, but according to Lithuanian defence officials, the cyber and informational element of the exercises has already begun.

It's yet unclear what documents have been stolen and whether they are genuine. Previous large-scale leaks allegedly tied to Russian hackers have featured a mix of real and fake documents.

The attack coincided with riots in Rūdninkai migrant camp, as well as outside the Lithuanian parliament. Senior officials, including the interior minister and the presidential office, say the events may be connected.

“The riots outside the Seimas and in Rūdninkai and information emerging on the same day that important documents had been stolen from the Foreign Ministry. Too many coincidences to be considered accidental,” Asta Skaisgirytė, the chief foreign policy adviser to the Lithuanian president, told LRT RADIO earlier on Thursday.

However, the country's intelligence service said it had no proof that the two riots were connected or that foreign powers were involved.

"If this evidence will come up – and I do not rule it out – it will be investigated, analysed, and presented to the public," said Darius Jauniškis, head of the State Security Department (VSD).

In February, Raidforums was also used to leak and allegedly sell user data of Lithuanian car hire service CityBee.

Classified info leaked, says Lithuanian president

There are certain signs that classified information leaked during a cyber attack against the Foreign Ministry, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda said on Thursday.

"An investigation is ongoing, with no doubt, we well asses that damage done during this cyber attack. But there are certain signs showing that certain information leaked. And that information is deemed classified," the president said in an interview with the Delfi.lt news website.

The leaked information "might cause serious damage, first of all, for allies", he said. "But that's potential damage I still cannot publicly disclose."

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