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28 November, 2021
 
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Reported House website hack was false alarm

Innovation commissioner says parliament website suffered technical glitch not cyber attack

Newsroom

The website of the House of Representatives in the Republic of Cyprus suffered a technical glitch on Monday, the innovation commissioner says, following reports in Greek Cypriot media that a foreign hacker had targeted the website.

Innovation commissioner Kyriacos Kokkinos, who as a guest on a state radio news program Tuesday morning, said the Cypriot parliament website suffered a technical glitch on Monday that was incorrectly reported as a cyber attack.

Local media on Monday reported on an announcement made by the parliament following the incident, with House officials saying a Turkish hacker had targeted their website unsuccessfully.

But Kokkinos said experts who reviewed the data determined there was a technical glitch, adding there were “no indications of a cyber attack.”

Kokkinos said his office was planning to open 15 to 16 positions on cyber security, adding it was time to invest in young people and that there was a need for a serious approach to cyber defense

The technical glitch delayed the publication of a controversial list created by the audit department, detailing non-performing loans (NPL) of politically-exposed persons (PEP) and prompting debate amongst House representatives and social media users online.

Kokkinos went on to say there was adequate cyber defense in the country, clarifying that in many cases it is not easy to quickly determine the origins of a cyber attack.

“There are cyber attacks occurring all the time, and these are not news worthy unless they succeed,” Kokkinos said, adding that there are even different levels of success in the hacking world, such as managing to cause a disruption or gain access to data.

Last month the defense ministry also said it was targeted by hackers, with the Cyprus News Agency citing a source who said Turkish hackers were behind the attack. A similar attack was also reported by Hermes Airports, saying attempts were made at the electronic systems at Larnaca International.

Kokkinos also said his office was planning to open 15 to 16 positions on cyber security, adding it was time to invest in young people and that there was a need for a serious approach to cyber defense.

Industry experts around the world say “helpful hackers” are often enlisted in helping companies and governments find vulnerabilities in internet-connected systems and applications.

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