Lithuania says it's ready amid reports of EU elections cyber-attacks abroad

  • 2024-06-07
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – With pro-Russian hackers targeting European Parliament elections abroad, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) says it is ready to respond to similar incidents in Lithuania.

"Various security measures are in place during the elections, including both preventive actions and rapid response to potential incidents," the center said in a comment to the media on Friday.

According to the NCSC, cyber security during the elections will be ensured not only by its specialists but also by members of the EU Cyber Rapid Reaction Teams (CRRT).

"They have been in Lithuania since the middle of the week and will be closely monitoring the cyber environment with NCSC specialists throughout the weekend, ready to respond to potential threats," it said.

Several websites of political parties in the Netherlands suffered cyberattacks on Thursday, as the EU elections kicked off in the country.

The cyberattacks were claimed by a pro-Russian hacker group called HackNeT.

"The Netherlands is the first country to vote for a new European Parliament," the group posted on the Telegram social media site. "So they'll be the first to suffer from DDoS attacks."

In recent weeks, HackNeT has claimed successful attacks on targets in Sweden, Spain and elsewhere.

The NCSC said in the comment that it "is aware of the incidents in the Netherlands, constantly monitors cyberspace, and exchanges up-to-date information on cyber threats with cyber security centers in other EU countries". 

The center says it has been working closely with the Central Electoral Commission since the start of the year. It has carried out a cyber-security risk assessment of the systems used for elections, and organized theoretical training and exercises for election commission members.

Cybersecurity experts say that no similar cyber-attacks have been recorded in Lithuania since Tuesday, when early voting for Sunday's EU elections in Lithuania began, but urge citizens to be vigilant and to report suspicious activities.

Candidates fielded by 14 political parties and one coalition are vying for Lithuania's 11 seats in the European Parliament.