Russian embassy in Austria under cyber attack

Vienna: The Russian Embassy in Austria has pinpointed a cyber attack on its information networks from foreign sources, the diplomatic mission in Vienna said.

The diplomats explained that since the beginning of 2019, they noticed systematic no-shows for those who signed up through the online appointment-scheduling system at the embassy. However, the number of online bookings increased several times. The diplomatic mission received numerous complaints from the public, who claimed that it was only possible to book an appointment several months ahead.

“Pressure on the consular department is always high, but no-show numbers are usually small. Nevertheless, since the beginning of 2019, not one person who signed up has shown up for an appointment,” the embassy noted.

At the request of the diplomats, special IT services looked into the problem and uncovered over 300 requests made automatically with IP addresses from Iraq, Thailand, Indonesia and several other countries. “We decided to delete these requests and to block their sources. Currently, the no-show numbers are back to normal,” the embassy informed.

“Obviously, we are in fact talking about malicious activity aimed at sabotaging the work of the embassy’s consular department,” Russian Ambassador to Austria Dmitry Lyubinsky noted. “We cannot rule out more attacks, we will monitor the situation closely in the interest of our visitors,” he concluded.