Prague Airport says thwarted several cyber attacks in recent days

PRAGUE (Reuters) – Prague Airport said on Saturday it had thwarted several cyber attacks on its IT network in recent days, reinforcing warnings by the national cyber security watchdog of likely attempts to harm the country’s hospitals and infrastructure.

“Attempted attacks on web pages of the airport were detected in preparatory phases,” the airport’s spokeswoman said in an emailed statement. “That prevented their spreading and all further phases that could have followed and potentially harm the company.”

Several hospitals in the Czech Republic reported attempted attacks on their computer systems on Friday, but said the attacks were successfully blocked.

The Czech cyber-security watchdog NUKIB said on Thursday that it expected attacks aimed at damaging or completely disabling computers and computer systems in the coming days.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday the United States was concerned by the threat of a cyber attack against the Czech Republic’s healthcare sector, adding that anybody engaged in such activity should “expect consequences.” [L1N2C600Y]

A Czech official speaking on condition of anonymity said it was not proven who was responsible for the activity the cyber-security watchdog had identified but it was thought to be the work of a “serious and advanced adversary.”

Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek said on Saturday the attacks were “extremely ruthless” during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I do hope that our experts will find out who is interested in Czech Republic losing to this disease,” he said on Twitter.

Reporting by Jan Lopatka; Editing by Christina Fincher

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