NATO, the Med, Iran: study details extent of cyber attacks on Italy

The Local Italy
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NATO, the Med, Iran: study details extent of cyber attacks on Italy
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More than 1760 messages from Italy's office at the EU in Brussels and from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs were stolen between 2013 and 2016 by hackers linked to Russia and China, according to an investigation by Italian daily Repubblica.


The cyber attacks occurred at times when key decisions were being taken on Iran and the Ukraine in the last few years.

According to a special investigation by Repubblica, several confidential diplomatic cables on Syria and Libya were also intercepted or hacked by the Russian hacker group Apt 28, which cyber experts say has links to Russian government security forces. 

Other hacks were effected by K3chang and Zegost, both groups believed to have links to the Chinese government, claims the report. 

Information about NATO exercises, migration policy in the Mediterranean and energy pipelines were hacked, according to the Repubblica investigation. Discussions about Russia sanctions were also stored on the same servers.  

According to another study by Italy's largest daily Repubblica, more than 100,000 computers used by the Italian army could have been penetrated. The computers' software – 15-years-old and not updated since 2015 – is run by Araknos Srl. 

Araknos became part of the Italian military industrial complex in the early 2000s, effectively becoming the partner of choice for cyber security in the Italian army, claims Repubblica's report. 

Up until 2010 the company's AKAB software fought off most cyber attack attempts. But when the Italian government decided to sign a contract with a new cyber security firm, Araknos slowly fell into decline and finally closed in 2015. 

Italy's Ministry of Defence claimed all its networks were "well protected" in response to the Repubblica investigation, arguing that it's AKAB-dependent softwares are not in active use. 

READ MORE: G7 finance chiefs talk cyber security in Bari after attacks




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