BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Hackers stole data related to the Ukraine crisis from Belgian foreign ministry servers last week, prompting a security crackdown which has left diplomats without Internet or email, the ministry said on Monday.
“We saw that data was stolen about the crisis in Ukraine but we do not yet know who stole it,” a spokesman for the Belgian foreign ministry said.
Belgium is a member of the European Union, which is a leading player in the crisis and is headquartered in the Belgian capital of Brussels.
“It was malware which copied documents specifically related to the Ukraine crisis,” the spokesman said, giving no further details on the type or sensitivity of the files stolen.
While investigations into the cyber attack were ongoing, the foreign ministry network has been completely shut down and employees were no longer able to access email or the Internet, the spokesman said.
Communication with Belgium’s embassies was still possible through the ministry’s internal networks.
The incident is the latest in a series of hacking discovered in Belgium in the past year.
Last September, experts discovered a virus in the offices of Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo, which they said was communicating with a server in Hong Kong. Last May, hackers sent emails from Di Rupo’s personal account to a Belgian newspaper.
Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by Philip Blenkinsop and Toby Chopra