Cyberattacks on Czech infrastructure

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Prague Airport and a regional Czech hospital thwarted cyberattacks on IT networks, reinforcing warnings by the national cyber security watchdog of attempts to harm the country’s infrastructure.

“Attempted attacks on airport web pages were detected in preparatory phases,” the airport’s spokeswoman said in an emailed statement. “That prevented spreading and further phases that could potentially harm the company.”

A regional hospital in western Czech city Karlovy Vary was attacked twice overnight on Saturday and foiled the attempts, which were not exceptional, a spokesman said.

Other hospitals in the Czech Republic reported attempted attacks on computer system and said they were successfully blocked.

The Czech cyber-security watchdog NUKIB said last week it expected attacks. The malware used is designed to damage or destroy computers, according to researchers.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said his country was concerned by threats of cyberattacks against the Czech Republic’s healthcare sector, adding anybody engaged in such activity should “expect consequences.”

A Czech official speaking on condition of anonymity said it was not proven who was responsible for the activity the cyber-security watchdog identified but it was thought to be the work of a “serious and advanced adversary.”

Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek said the attacks were “ruthless” during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I hope our experts will find out who is interested in Czech Republic losing to this disease,” he said on Twitter.