The number of hybrid disinformation and cyber attacks in Lithuania is rising and they are becoming bolder and more advanced as more resources and forces are being allocated for them, cyber security specialists have warned in their annual report.
Asociatyvi nuotr.
Asociatyvi nuotr.
© Shutterstock

The disinformation intensity level in Lithuania in terms of its scope and content was last year similar to the one of previous years, according data from the Lithuanian army. But the number of hybrid incidents is rising. They consist of the cyber and information parts and their goal is to hack, distribute malware and spread false information.

A total of 2,800 cases of informational activity unfriendly towards Lithuania were recorded last year, and a quarter of them were in the area of protection of constitutional fundamentals.

"It should be noted that the number of such cases of detrimental activity rose 15 percent last year. Lithuania's statehood, independence and the institutes of democracy have become one of the key targets of the state-unfriendly media in recent years," according to the annual National Cyber Security Status Report.

According to experts, these attacks were characterized by more advanced technical and content solutions and more complex operation. And more informational resources as well as technical and physical capacity were allocated for these attacks.

"The Kremlin regime-controlled media outlets remain the main disinformation factor as they published and spread information incompatible with the provisions of the Republic of Lithuania's Law on Provision of Information to the Public," the report's authors said.

In their words, an image of Lithuania as a hostile and unreliable state was being created, and there were also content on war and national hatred incitement.

Non-transparent content building and deceit elements were also used as facts were falsified, statements, comments or press releases of public figures were intentionally distorted, as well as visual editing means were used to fabricate visual materials, and identities of other people or institutions were used for cover-up.

"One of the clearest informational cyber attacks targeted a journalist of the delfi.lt news website when his name was used to sent inquiries with Lithuanian and foreign institutions and news agencies when reporting on alleged public order offences committed by NATO allies in Lithuania," experts said.

Another informational attack was carried out against the Jewish community in Lithuania's second-largest city of Kaunas when the identity of the community's chairman was used to send out false statements to responsible services on an anti-Semitic crime allegedly carried out by troops from the Lithuania-deployed NATO forward presence battalion.

The report also reminded of the last year's attacks against the leadership of the Ministry of the National Defense when a lie was spread on a large bribe allegedly received by the minister from US officials.

Several online website were hacked during this attack and content discrediting the minister was published, as well as links were created, leading to a website which was created to look very similar to the website of the Special Investigation Service, and the website contained a statement confirmed the fabricated false information.

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