Latvia’s state security service the Constitution Protection Bureau (SAB) said October 8 that Russia has in the past launched several cyber-attacks against Latvia. In a rare statement posted to its website, SAB said that like the Netherlands – which recently went public with claims it had been subjected to cyber-attacks from the Russian Federation – Latvia too had been targeted several times, naming Russia’s GRU military intelligence service specifically as the perpetrator. “The cyber attacks in Latvia were carried out by the GRU for espionage purposes, and the most frequent attacks were directed against state institutions, including the foreign and defense sectors. Rarely, attacks were targeted at private companies, including the media. The essence of cyber-attacks carried out by GRU is to enter an information system, operate in it unnoticed, and obtain long-term data from the system – for example, regular access to e-mail correspondence and documents processed at the workstation,” SAB said.
The GRU frequently uses “phishing” techniques, in which a target is lured to click on a certain link, to gain access to computers, SAB said.
SAB gave no details about the number, duration or effectiveness of the attacks and offered no specific evidence to back up its assertion other than referring to evidence compiled by the US authorities in connection with Russian attempts to manipulate the 2016 presidential election in that country.