AP

US Cybersecurity Firm: Hackers Stole EU Diplomatic Cables

Dec 19, 2018, 9:16 AM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 5:16 pm

LONDON (AP) — Hackers have spent years eavesdropping on the diplomatic communications of European Union officials, a U.S. cybersecurity firm said Wednesday, an operation disrupted only after researchers discovered hundreds of intercepted documents lying around on the internet.

The documents were discovered a few months ago after a malicious email was caught by the Redwood City, California-based Area 1 Security firm, according to company co-founder Blake Darche.

He said the firm followed forensic clues in the message back to an unsecured server that had some 1,100 EU diplomatic cables. Darche said he believed that tens of thousands more such documents have been stolen.
“We estimate that the ones we found are a small fraction of the overall operation,” he said. “From what we can see, the EU has a significant problem on their hands.”

Darche said the hackers are working for China’s People’s Liberation Army, a judgment he said was based on eight years spent observing the group. He declined to provide further details, saying technical data would be provided in a report released later Wednesday.

EU officials are taking the report “extremely seriously” but it is “impossible to comment on leaks,” European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis told reporters in Brussels.

“All communication systems have vulnerabilities, so we’re constantly dealing with this challenge,” he said.
Dombrovskis identified the system hit by the leaks as one managed by the European Council’s secretariat, which represents EU member states in Brussels, rather than the commission itself. In an email, the council acknowledged what it described as “a potential leak of sensitive information” and said it was investigating. It offered no further comment.

Calls to China’s mission to the European Union went unreturned Wednesday.

The New York Times, which first reported on the breach, published excerpts of the diplomatic cables after obtaining them from Area 1 ahead of time.

Some of the messages appeared to capture European officials struggling to deal with the erratic movements of U.S. President Donald Trump.

One such document appeared to capture a senior European official in Washington recommending that envoys from the EU’s member nations work around Trump by dealing directly with Congress.

In another apparent message, European diplomats described a recent summit between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, as “successful (at least for Putin).”
___
Lorne Cook in Brussels contributed to this report.
___
Online:
Raphael Satter can be reached: http://raphaelsatter.com

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

AP

A package of Plan B contraceptive is displayed at Jack's Pharmacy on April 5, 2013 in San Anselmo, ...
HALELUYA HADERO, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Amazon, Rite Aid cap purchase of emergency contraceptives

Amazon is limiting how many emergency contraceptives consumers can buy, joining other retailers who put in place similar caps following the Supreme Court decision overruling Roe v. Wade.
19 hours ago
Guns of many varieties are organized by type and caliber for use in training, and to fix malfunctio...
DON THOMPSON, Associated Press

Personal info on California gun owners wrongly made public

The California Department of Justice says it wrongly made public the personal information of hundreds of thousands of gun owners in their state-operated databases.
19 hours ago
FILE: Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally on September 25, 2021 in Perry, Georgia. Repu...
MICHAEL R. SISAK, Associated Press

Judge ends Trump contempt order after lengthy legal fight

A New York judge has ruled that former President Donald Trump is no longer in contempt of court.
19 hours ago
(KSL TV)...
Associated Press

Feds looking at finances of Native American boarding school

One of the few boarding schools for Native American students run by the federal government in Oregon is looking closely at the school’s finances by the feds.
19 hours ago
R. Kelly (C) appears at a hearing before Judge Lawrence Flood at Leighton Criminal Court Building J...
Associated Press

R. Kelly timeline: Shining star to convicted sex trafficker

R. Kelly's musical accomplishments have been accompanied by a long history of allegations that he sexually abused women and children. Now the R&B singer has been sentenced to spend the next three decades behind bars.
19 hours ago
MENDON, IL - JUNE 25: U.S. Representative Mary Miller (R-IL) cheers with Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO)...
Associated Press

Hard-line conservative Reps. Boebert, Miller win primaries

Two of Congress’ staunchest conservatives repelled more centrist challengers to lock up Republican nominations on Tuesday.
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
US Cybersecurity Firm: Hackers Stole EU Diplomatic Cables