Report: number of cyber security incidents up by quarter

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Presented at the Ministry of National Defense, the documents state that Russia-linked cyber groups are also exploiting infrastructure vulnerabilities in Lithuania, carrying out attacks on COVID-19 vaccine producers.

According to institutional data, the number of cybersecurity incidents rose by 25 percent last year, and the number of incidents related to the spread of malware jumped by as much as 49 percent.

Vice Minister of National Defense Margiris Abukevicius told BNS the number of incidents is growing as more and more devices are connected to the internet, the number of unsafe websites is increasing and also due to the remaining lack of cybersecurity hygiene.

“COVID-19 has had an unavoidable impact as well. When we look into the correlation between the rise in the number of cybersecurity incidents and lockdown restrictions, so that correlation is very obvious, especially during the first lockdown,” the vice minister said.

Analysts say the Seimas election and political changes also had an impact on the rise in incidents, although specific attempts to affect the election were avoided.

“During the election period, there were no identified attempts to unlawfully log onto the election information systems but external intelligence of the information system’s perimeter was identified, and 386 IP addresses linked to allegedly unlawful activity were blocked through joint effort of the National Cyber Security Center and the Central Electoral Commission. Other incidents were avoided, therefore, it can be concluded that the 2020 election to the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania was safe,” the report reads.

Some incidents linked to Russia

The report is also based on information collected by the State Security Department and military intelligence, stating that cyber groups controlled by Russian intelligence services carried out cyber attacks on Lithuania’s top government, foreign policy and national security ensuring institutions, energy and education establishments, and also used Lithuania’s infrastructure to carry out attacks abroad.

“Groups controlled by Russian intelligence services also exploited…