Russia’s Foreign Ministry has experienced “large-scale” cyber-attacks originating in Iran and Hungary last month, including the one on the ministry's mail server.
The attacks on the ministry’s mail server occurred on June 29. It “resulted in grave consequences”, spokesperson Maria Zakharova said.
Hackers had brief access of electronic correspondence between the ministry’s staff. The ministry’s system administrators temporarily blocked its mail service to stop the attack.
This is the first time Russia’s foreign ministry has said its servers were hacked. When a US hacker boasted last October that he had hacked the ministry website, Zakharova responded that he had targeted a defunct version of the site.
It was found that "the 88 per cent of all visits to the site were cyber-attackers with US IP addresses," she added.
Zakharova said in a live broadcast of Rossiya 1 TV Channel on Friday that Russia’s Foreign Ministry has registered penetrations by US special services into the territory of the seized Russian diplomatic compounds in the United States.
"For several months now the problem has been that we do not have access to our facilities. We have no idea what is happening there. According to our data, penetrations occurred and this happened on many occasions.” the spokesperson was quoted as saying by TASS.
“Who enters there? These are not American citizens frightened to death who have decided to see what the Russians have there. These compounds are accessed by the staff of special services," the spokeswoman said. She also noted that the incidents could bring about emergencies like a fire.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov in January said that its website had been under “hundreds and thousands” of attacks every day from different countries, including China, India and the European Union.