July 21, 2008 / 1:45 PM / 12 years ago

Lithuanian tax office website hit by cyber attack

VILNIUS, July 21 (Reuters) - Lithuania said it suffered another foreign cyber attack over the weekend when the state tax office’s website was swamped with requests, but no damage was sustained.

“It is likely that these attacks were planned in advance,” Gediminas Vysniauskis, deputy head of the tax inspectorate said in a statement on Monday.

The tax office took its service off-line to prevent damage and blocked access from some servers. Access to online tax filing was disrupted for several hours, but no data was lost.

“Addresses of servers, which generated the requests, were blocked immediately... the preliminary analysis shows the servers were located in Romania,” the tax office said.

Cyber attacks are often routed through different countries in an attempt to disguise their true origin.

In June a number of Lithuania official websites were hacked into and defaced with Soviet signs and anti-Lithuanian slogans, after the country’s parliament banned the use of Nazi and Soviet symbols, such as the hammer and sickle, and the playing the Soviet Union anthem at public gatherings.

The Internet assaults are similar to those suffered by near neighbour Estonia when its servers were hit in April and May last year.

Estonia’s head of Internet security linked those attacks to a decision by Estonia to remove a bronze statue of a Red Army soldier from the centre of the capital Tallinn. The decision triggered a protest from Moscow and sparked rioting by mainly Russian-speaking youth.

Internet attacks from criminals, activists, protest groups or others are becoming more prevalent and can have a damaging impact given how pervasive the Web has become in everyday life. (Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis; Editing by Matthew Jones)

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