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Russia hacked more than 15,000 sites in Georgia - the Georgian Foreign Ministry

By Nika Gamtsemlidze
Friday, February 21
According to the Georgian Foreign Ministry, Russia has launched a large-scale cyberattack on Georgian websites, with more than 15,000 sites shut down. Ministry spokesman Vladimir Konstantinid talked about it at a special briefing.

As he explains, the cyberattack was planned and implemented by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. According to him, international partners of Georgia cooperated with the investigation.

“The cyberattack was aimed at undermining Georgia's national security, harming the Georgian population and disrupting government structures, as well as disrupting the functioning of various organizations,” said Konstantinid at a briefing.

He stressed that Georgia condemns the cyberattack, which is another violation of sovereignty. “It underscores the importance of the Georgian government's efforts to strengthen cybersecurity at the national level and reiterates the need to establish an international partnership on cybersecurity issues,” noted Spokesperson of the Ministry. At the same time, he noted that Georgia will continue to work with partners to enhance cybersecurity.

According to the US embassy, the United States condemns Russia's cyberattack against Georgia, which has hacked more than 15,000 sites. The US calls on Russia to stop such actions and pledge to the Georgian people to help them fight the harmful cybercriminals.

They say such actions by Russia are contrary to their attempts to portray themselves as responsible actors in cyberspace.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemns Russia's large-scale cyberattack on Georgian websites. The Secretary of State wrote on Twitter:

“We stand with Georgia in condemning Russia’s cyber-attack against its people and institutions. Russia must immediately cease this behavior in Georgia and elsewhere. The stability of cyberspace depends on the responsible behavior of all nations,” wrote Pompeo.

The Embassy of the U.K. also condemns the action. They say the attacks are part of Russia's hostile and destabilizing policy aimed at undermining Georgia's sovereignty.

According to Dominic Raab, the UK's foreign minister, the GRU's irresponsible and top-notch cyberattack campaign against Georgia, a sovereign and independent state is unacceptable.

The Danish Foreign Ministry has responded to reports that Russia is responsible for the cyberattack in Georgia. They share the concern and say they will continue to work together to create a safe cyber environment.

Lithuania urges Russia to stop its malicious cyberattack against Georgia. The announcement was made on Twitter by the Department of Strategic Communications of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania:

“Recalling the 2019 October disruptive cyber-attack against Georgia media and governmental webpages, Lithuania strongly reiterates its support to Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and urges Russia to stop malicious cyber activities against Georgia,” reads the address.

The Netherlands says Russia has violated the norms of responsible state when they cyberattacked on Georgia. They say they will continue to strengthen cyberspace.

“We join our international partners in condemning the unwarranted cyber-attacks against Georgia on 28 October 2019. The Netherlands shares the assessment that Russia is responsible,” reads the tweet of Stef Blok, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.

On October 28, 2019, more than 15,000 websites were hacked simultaneously. The victims of the cyberattacks were the website of the president's administration, the judicial system, councils of various municipalities, state, commercial and media organizations. A photo of former President Mikheil Saakashvili with the caption ‘I'll Be Back’ appeared on the websites.