By Kevin Coleman -- Defense Tech Cyberwarfare Correspondent
The EU Commission was rocked by a serious cyber attack just hours before their leaders were set to gather in Brussels for a two-day summit. An unnamed EU official reportedly said that, "We're regularly hit by cyber attacks, but this one's a big one." The commission was set to address a number of economic issues and added the events in Libya to the agenda. On March 22nd, suspicious activity was identified and security personnel’s concerns were justified in short order. While EU Commission officials refused to provide specific information about the cyber attack, knowledgeable sources say the sophisticated cyber attack was launched with pinpoint accuracy and the cyber weapons hit their targets. The targets were identified as individuals within the EU Commission’s Executive Arm and the External Action Service group and the attacks were said to be at least partially affective. For a time, the security team reportedly shut down external access to their email system and Internet access was blocked.
It is also important to keep in mind that back on March 17th, Muammar Gaddafi warned of reprisals for the kinetic attacks used to control the airspace over Libya. Gaddafi stated that "Any foreign military act against Libya will expose all air and maritime traffic in the Mediterranean Sea to danger and civilian and military facilities will become targets of Libya's counter attack. Late last week a Commission spokesperson told the Brussels press that Libya was not the origin of the cyber attack. Once again with the complexities and associated problems of cyber attack attribution, how anyone can make that statement within a couple of days of the attack is beyond comprehension.
Note: The European Parliament also reported problems, but this attack has not been directly linked to the cyber attack on the Commission.
Note: On March 7th, the French Finance Ministry stated that its computer networks had been breached by extremely skilled hackers and that documents pertaining to France’s presidency were stolen.