Ministry result

Investigation launched into alleged Russian cyberattacks at Foreign Ministry

The Hungarian National Bureau of Investigation (NNI) has opened an investigation into suspected ‘information or data system breaches’, following press reports that Russian hackers broke into the computer system from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade years ago and were able to access departmental communications like an open book.

Attorney General Péter Polt informed Democratic Coalition MP Ágnes Vadai of the opening of the investigation after the opposition politician submitted written questions to the Attorney General.

The opposition politician turned to Polt after an investigative exit Direkt36 reported that Russian hacker groups had been keeping the Foreign Ministry under cyberattack for years.

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Direkt36: Russian intelligence services have had access to classified Hungarian Foreign Ministry data for years

Direkt36: Russian intelligence services have had access to classified Hungarian Foreign Ministry data for years

By hacking into Foreign Ministry networks, Hungarian diplomatic activity has practically become an open book for Moscow, notes Direkt36.Continue Reading

According to the investigative site, Russian hackers infiltrated the computer systems of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade as early as 2012. As of the second half of 2021, Direkt36 discovered, Russia had already completely compromised the ministry’s computer network and internal messaging system, and had hacked into the encrypted network used to transmit “restricted” and “classified” information relating to state and diplomacy, which does not may otherwise only be used under strict security conditions.

Politician DK wanted to know how the chief prosecutor interprets the crime of “treason” under the Hungarian Penal Code. She also asked if Polt had filed a criminal complaint ex officio after the publication of the investigative article, for example on suspicion of treason, and if not, if he would do so following Vadai’s written question. .

In his response, the Prosecutor General did not specify how he interpreted the legal notion of treason in Hungarian criminal law, but indicated that he had assessed the issues as a criminal complaint and forwarded it to the National Office of investigation.

According to the NNI, an ex officio investigation had already been ordered on the day of publication of the article “on suspicion of breach of the information system or data”.

Pictured: Hungarian Prosecutor General Péter Polt. Photo by Lajos Soos/MTI