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Flags and a podium at Austria's Foreign Ministry in Vienna
Image: Imago Images/Chromorange/Weingartner

Austria's Foreign Ministry faces cyberattack

January 5, 2020

Vienna has described the situation as "serious," saying a "state actor" may be behind the attack. This came after the Greens gave the go-ahead to form a coalition government with the conservative People's Party.


The Austrian Foreign Ministry has said it was dealing with a "serious cyberattack," and suggested another country could be to blame.

"Due to the gravity and nature of the attack, it cannot be excluded that it is a targeted attack by a state actor," it said in a joint statement with the Interior Ministry on Saturday, adding that the computerized offensive was continuing.

Read more: Austria's new government sets goal to be carbon neutral by 2040

The statement said that "in the past, other European countries have been the target of similar attacks."

Inside Europe: Far-right loses out in Austria

Procedures had been put in place as an immediate response and a "coordination committee" had been created, but no further details were given.

A spokesman for the Austrian Foreign Ministry told the AFP news agency that experts said the attack could last several days. 

In 2019, the European Union set up measures to punish those outside the bloc who launched attacks of this nature targeting hospitals and financial institutions, or those who interfered with elections.

The revelations regarding the cyberattacks emerged on the same day the Greens agreed to a coalition with the country's conservatives, the People's Party, at a congress in Salzburg, overcoming the last obstacle to the unprecedented alliance.

jsi/cmk (dpa, AFP)

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