STS’s Opris: Cyber-attacks used for political aims; an attack occurred during the presidential campaign, TV channel involved

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The tools of cyber-war can be used for political aims as well, head of the Special Telecommunications Service (STS) Marcel Opris said Thursday, adding that such an episode occurred during the 2014 presidential campaign, Agerpres informs.

‘Cyber-attack possibilities can also be used for other purposes as well. I guess it is no news to you that all the state infrastructures relevant to the competitors were attacked in terms of information during the presidential campaign. I guess that is no news and you did not imagine things. There are people in the room who know that to be true (…). Dear politicians and representatives of the civil society, the tools of cyber-war can be used for political aims as well. And when I say that I am fully responsible and I would like us to analyse this aspect,’ Opris told a public debate on rights and freedoms in the context of cyber-security and telecommunications, organised by the National Liberal Party (PNL) MP group in the Chamber of Deputies.

In the same context, General Opris said that the institutions certified to ensure cyber-security in Romania should possess the most appropriate legislative instruments to the point. He mentioned the need for improved regulation of prepaid phone cards and personal data retention.

“A relevant example is when an institution and a man were to be attacked during a TV show some time ago. He said, “now we will prove that you did not do anything and that system is not working». A minute before, everything was normal, the system was fully functional. And when those in charge of the security of this system said “oops, wait something happens, take a look what is happening now.” In the next minute a devastating attack took place, “denial of service”, i.e. dozens of … the most primitive, but one that can be triggered instantly from thousands of sources worldwide after an ad on TV at a Romanian television. The attack started and that system was no longer available, the person waited two to three minutes as he knew that takes effect and said, “Now you enter that system.” Obviously could not do it,” Opri? said, according to Mediafax.

Opris refused to make press statements after the meeting, saying that anyone wanting details of the alleged cyber-attack should ask STS in writing.

Also attending the debate, moderated by honorary chairman of the Pro Democracy Association Cristian Parvulescu, were MPs from the committees overseeing the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) and the Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE), Ombudsman Victor Ciorbea, SRI officials as well as representatives of NGOs, including APADOR-CH (Association for the Defence of Human Rights in Romania — Helsinki Committee), the Fundatia pentru o Societate Deschisa (Open Society Foundation), ActiveWatch, and Militia Spirituala (Spiritual Militia).

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