DDoS Attack Takes Czech Election Sites Offline

Haythem Elmir

Two websites run by the Czech Statistical Office (CSU) were taken offline after a DDoS attack at the weekend tried to disrupt reporting of the country’s parliamentary elections.

The results of the election, held on Friday and Saturday, were posted to the sites; showing billionaire Andrej Babiš’ populist ANO party with the largest share of the vote at nearly 30%.

A statement on the CSU site reportedly had the following:

“During the processing, there was a targeted DDoS attack aimed at the infrastructure of the O2 company used for elections. As a result, servers volby.cz and volbyhned.cz had been temporarily partly inaccessible. The attack did not in any way affect either the infrastructure used for the transmission of election results to the CSU headquarters or the independent data processing. »

The sites are now back up and running.

It’s unclear whether the attacks were launched in response to the result. Babiš is a controversial figure in the country and is currently facing fraud charges, although reports suggest he will still be named Prime Minister by President Milos Zeman.

Corero Network Security director, Sean Newman, claimed DDoS attacks targeting elections can have a serious impact on the democratic process.

“Organizations of all types and sizes, including governments, need to ensure they have effective protection in place,” he added. “Only the latest truly real-time DDoS protection solutions can automatically and surgically block attacks and leave regular traffic unimpeded, to ensure that web-based resources remain continually operational and, in this case, the democratic process is not impacted.”

Earlier this year, another cyber-attack was discovered targeting the Czech government, in what some claimed was an attempt to weaponize confidential information to sway voters.

The attack targeted Czech Foreign Ministry staff, with some reports claiming hackers managed to download private emails from foreign minister, Lubomir Zaoralek, and his deputy.

Zaoralek claimed the hack was similar to that which compromised the Democratic National Committee (DNC) ahead of the US presidential election.


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