Swiss military hit by series of cyber attacks

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Swiss military hit by series of cyber attacks
An F/A-18 Hornet fighter aircraft of the Swiss Air Force releases flares. File photo: AFP

The Swiss defence department was the victim of a cyber attack in January, Switzerland's defence minister has confirmed.


“While I was at the World Economic Forum, my department was attacked,” Swiss defence minister Guy Parmelin said during an interview published by the Bund and Tages Anzeiger newspapers.

“We were able to take action and continue operating,” the minister added.

Parmelin confirmed the Swiss government was now looking at a possible connection between January’s attack on the defence department and suspected industrial espionage at Swiss munitions firm Ruag.

Data was stolen from Ruag, which is fully owned by the Swiss government and supplies the country’s military. The extent of the breach is not yet known.

The Tages Anzeiger on Wednesday reported that the attacks on Ruag were Russian in origin. This suggestion was later confirmed by the spokesperson for the Swiss parliamentary business affairs committee (GPdel), Alex Kuprecht, although figures higher up within the government did not comment.

Both the defence department and Ruag have now introduced measures to increase security, although these have not been detailed.

The news of January’s attack on the defence department comes just days after Switzerland’s Federal Intelligence Service published an annual security report highlighting the risks of cyber espionage.



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