If mainstream media and politicians are anything to go by, Russians are everywhere: on Facebook, on Twitter, in voting machines, in elected offices. And not just any Russians, but the scary, capable, intelligence types.
Be that as it may, few could argue that there’s bound to be plenty of them in Moscow. The predictability of it all is probably cold comfort to the EU – whose Moscow-based mission of the EU Delegation – a diplomatic office tantamount to an embassy – recently got hacked, BuzzFeed is reporting.
BuzzFeed quotes an internal EU document that has been leaked, saying the target was an unclassified network, and that the breach was discovered in April.
The discovery was made close to the elections for the European Parliament, BuzzFeed observes, but doesn’t explain the relevance of the coincidence.
There’s been a good deal of secrecy around the event, as can be expected – on the part of the EU, who in April chose not to reveal publicly that the hack had taken place, and by BuzzFeed, which quotes an anonymous source.
This source was the one who pointed the finger at the alleged culprit – the Russians.
But the report itself points a bit of a finger at EU’s EEAS – an institution akin to a country’s foreign ministry – which is accused of negligence in informing member-states, and even high-ranking officials such as Jean Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk of this event in a timely manner.
And just as the EU accuses social media giants of “not doing enough” to suppress what is thought to be “fake news” on their platforms, so BuzzFeed cites unnamed sources who accuse the EU of “not doing enough” to stand up to the pesky Russians.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that overestimating the power of Russia is what’s been going on these last couple of years – but BuzzFeed’s sources believe the EU is actually “underestimating” it.
The leaked document, meanwhile, referred to the handiwork of cyber-spies as having been “sophisticated and ongoing.”
“Ongoing” here means since February 2017, the report said. And while the EU is certain that information had been stolen from at least two of its computers in Moscow – “officials have no idea how much and exactly what kind of information was taken.”