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Luxembourg increasingly under cyber-attack

Luxembourg increasingly under cyber-attack

2 min. 16.03.2017 From our online archive
Following recent reports by Wikileaks regarding cyber-attacks by the CIA, Xavier Bettel now confirmed that Luxembourg is increasingly a target of such attacks, but not necessarily by state actors.

(sth) Following recent reports by Wikileaks regarding cyber-attacks by the CIA, Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel now confirmed that Luxembourg is increasingly a target of such attacks , but not necessarily by state actors.

Luxembourg MP Laurent Mosar (CSV) addressed a parliamentary question to Prime Minister Bettel following media reports that companies from Luxembourg had been the target of CIA cyber-attacks, asking Bettel to confirm these reports.

While Bettel confirmed that Wikileaks documents did reveal that certain servers (DNS – Domain name system) were vulnerable to attacks, such as being used as 'open resolver' by intruders or for DDoS-attacks (distributed denial-of-service), the Prime Minister insists that the Wikileaks reports do not confirm that the internal systems of concerned companies were indeed attacked.

Increasing number of attacks

Bettel goes on to explain that the Wikileaks documents do not target particular states as much as specific vulnerabilities of data processing systems. Notwithstanding, there was no denying that a high number of actors are trying to exploit these vulnerabilities in order to increase their capacities to intrude such systems no matter their hardware.

Without mentioning specific actors, Bettel writes that the number of attacks by "a whole series of actors is constantly increasing".

In a recently published report, the parliamentary control commission of Luxembourg's intelligence agency SREL writes that the threat level of cyber-attacks targeting Luxembourg was "high".

2016 was marked by a high number of cyber-attacks targeting both public institutions and private companies in Luxembourg.

Only recently, Luxembourg's state servers were under attack, without the 'Centre des Technologies de l'information de l'Etat' (CTIE) being able to identify the source of the attack.

The commission writes that "these cyber-attacks, characterised by their complex and evolved structures, are the doing of criminals, hackers with different motivations, companies or state actors".

Appropriate protection and confinement tools

Asked about possible measures by the government to prevent such attacks in future, Bettel states that the best protection was to be up to date about attackers' operational modes and to put in place the appropriate protection mechanisms or, in case of an attack, the effective confinement tools.

Politically, and given the complexity of such attacks, Bettel pleads for a cooperation of all concerned national actors and for international cooperation.

Furthermore, according to Bettel, the government wants to provide Luxembourg actors with the adequate technical tools and a legal framework allowing them to fulfil their missions of protecting IT systems and discovering operational modes.