Russia behind cyber-attack on candidates’ websites during presidential elections in Czech Republic

13 January, 05:38 PM
The last debate of the candidates before the presidential election (Photo:David W Cerny/Reuters)

The last debate of the candidates before the presidential election (Photo:David W Cerny/Reuters)

The websites of two presidential candidates have been a target of DDoS cyber-attacks during the presidential elections in the Czech Republic taking place on Jan. 13, the Radio Prague online newspaper reported.

In particular, hackers blocked the web page of General Petr Pavel, a top candidate in the presidential race, as well as that of the academic Tomáš Zima.

According to the National Institute for Cyber Security, the attacks came from IP addresses across Europe and there are signs that the Russian hacker group known as NoName057 is behind the attack.

Video of day

Zima announced he could not post a link to his campaign finance report on his website, as required by law, due to the DDoS attack.

The first round of elections is taking place in the Czech Republic on Jan. 13-14.

If none of the candidates manages to get more than 50% of the vote, a second round of elections will take place in two weeks.

The winner will replace incumbent President Miloš Zeman.

Zeman had a reputation as one of the most Kremlin-friendly European politicians. In the past, he questioned the need for sanctions and spoke ambiguously about Russia’s military occupation of Ukraine’s Crimea.

However, after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Zeman sharply condemned Russian aggression, expressed support for Ukraine, and called for tough sanctions against the Kremlin.

In June, Zeman announced he had changed his attitude toward Russia after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

According to him, the attack on Ukraine was a cold shower for many people in and outside of Russia – including him.

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