Russian intelligence was accused of cyber attacks on Lithuania's top leadership

Last year, hacker groups controlled by Russian secret services conducted cyber attacks on Lithuania's top leadership - This is stated in the annual report on the state of national cybersecurity published by the Ministry of Defense of the Baltic republic

The document claims that Lithuanian foreign policy and national security institutions, as well as energy and education facilities were attacked by Russian intelligence.

"Groups controlled by Russian intelligence services also used the Lithuanian information technology sector infrastructure for cyber attacks against targets in Western countries. For example, in July 2020, there were cyber attacks by the APT29 cyber group against organizations developing a coronavirus vaccine in the West that were carried out using Lithuanian IT infrastructure," the report said.

As noted in the document, some of the cyber incidents registered in the republic last year are associated with "political, geopolitical, strategic events in Lithuania, the region and around the world."

According to the report, "it is assumed that hostile intelligence services seek to illegally obtain information about vulnerabilities in Lithuanian communication and information systems, as well as personal user information (account login data) and use it for other cyber incidents".

As an example, a cyber attack was reported in December 2020, when 24 public sector websites were hacked, three of which published fake news with different content. An investigation into the incident revealed that it had been prepared in advance and was carried out in an orderly manner.

Various cyberattacks are often reported in Lithuanian state institutions. Most often they are attributed to "Russian hackers" or hinted that they were carried out by "unfriendly countries," although no evidence has been found.

Moscow has repeatedly stressed that accusations by Western partners are unfounded.

In addition, the authorities of the Baltic States have consistently obstructed the work of the Russian media. As the Russian Foreign Ministry noted, signs of coordination are clearly visible in the actions of Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn, and the cases of media harassment in the Baltic countries clearly demonstrate that the demagogic statements of these countries about their adherence to the principles of democracy and freedom of speech are worth in practice.

It's interesting to note that the report released by the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense shows that cyber incidents in Lithuania increased by 25 percent in 2020, and the number of incidents involving malware increased by 49 percent.