Czech capital Prague, Labour Ministry face cyber attacks

FILE PHOTO: Seagulls fly over people looking at the Prague Castle amid coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions in Prague, Czech Republic, December 28, 2020. REUTERS/David W Cerny

PRAGUE (Reuters) - The Czech capital Prague and the Labour Ministry said there had been cyber attacks on their email systems but although the mayor of Prague said it was a large attack, he added the damage caused was limited.

“There has been a massive cyber attack on public service systems. The city’s servers survived the attack. An outage was made to install a safety patch to the emailing system,” Mayor Zdenek Hrib said late on Thursday on Twitter.

On Friday morning, he said that the city’s emails were working and that there was no need to recover data from backup systems.

Labor Minister Jana Malacova told Seznam Zpravy news website that her ministry was attacked too, without giving further details.

The National Cyber and Information Agency (NUKIB) said it was providing assistance to the attacked institutions. There was no indication yet who carried out the cyber attacks.

“NUKIB, together with other partners, including the organised crime unit of the police, is helping the targeted institutions to solve the situation and to minimize the damage,” the agency said in a statement.

It said that it would not comment further on the scale of the incident or specify which organisations were attacked.

The attacks followed several attempts to hack state organisations in the Czech Republic over the past year, including Prague airport or hospitals.

The Labour Ministry plays a key part in helping people affected by the coronavirus pandemic, as it distributes billions of crowns worth of aid.

Reporting by Robert Muller; Editing by Frances Kerry