Wed, 20 Nov 2019

The head of the Czech counterintelligence service says a Russian espionage network that his agency dismantled last year was meant to be used for cyberattacks against the Czech Republic and its foreign allies.

Michal Koudelka told a security conference in the lower house of parliament on October 21 that the Security Information Service (BIS) cooperated with the police's organized-crime unit to completely paralyze the network.

'The network was completely dismantled and destroyed,' Koudelka said, according to Czech news agency CTK.

The network was formed to carry out hacking attacks on targets in the Czech Republic and its partner states, Koudelka said.

Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), supported by the Russian Embassy in Prague, is suspected of being the mastermind.

'It was created by people with links to Russian intelligence services and financed from Russia and the Russian Embassy,' Koudelka said.

Koudelka first mentioned the BIS actions against the network last year.

Koudelka also pointed to the Russian and Chinese spy services as the biggest threats to his country.

Czech intelligence agency NUKIB said last month that Russia and China posed the biggest threat to cybersecurity in the country.

It added that China was behind a major cyberattack on a key government institution in the Czech Republic last year.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, dpa, and Lidovky.cz

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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