BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union has launched an investigation into a cyber hack of the diplomatic communication, allegedly by Chinese hackers, who revealed that the EU’s concern about the AMERICAN Donald Trump, Russia and Iran, the bloc said on Wednesday.
FILE PHOTO: Silhouette of a mobile device of the user is seen next to a screen projection of the binary code can be seen in this photograph, image, March 28, 2018. REUTERS/dado Ruvic/Illustration
“The general Secretariat of the Council is aware of the allegations made in connection with a possible leak of sensitive information, and actively investigate the issue,” the body represents the governments of the EU in Brussels said in a statement.
The Secretariat refused to comment further, but said: “takes the safety of its facilities, including the IT systems, very seriously”, referring to the concern about vulnerabilities in the data systems in the 28 member states of the EU.
The New York Times reported late on Tuesday that hackers had broken into the EU’s diplomatic communication for the years, the downloading of cables that showed worry about the Trump card of the administration, the battle to deal with Russia and China, and the threat of Iran’s revival of its nuclear program.
More than 1,100 cables were provided to the Times by the security firm Area 1, after it discovered the breach, the newspaper said, adding that Area 1, the researchers believed that the hackers working for China’s People’s Liberation Army.
The cables are notes from the conversations with the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Israel, and other countries that were shared across the European Union, according to the report.
One cable, the Times said, showed European diplomats describing an encounter between the AMERICAN President Donald Trump and the Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Finland as “passed (at least for Putin)”.
Another, written after a 16 July meeting, passed on from a detailed report and analysis of the discussions between the European officials and the Chinese President Xi Jinping, who was quoted comparing Trump’s “bullying” of Beijing and a “no-rules freestyle boxing match”.
A third, from 7 March to let Caroline Vicini, the deputy head of the EU mission in Washington, recommended that the trading bloc diplomats describe the United States as “our most important partner”, even if the challenged Trump ” in the areas where we disagree with the US (e.g. climate, trade, Iran nuclear deal)”.
The hackers also infiltrated the networks of the United Nations, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) and the ministries of foreign affairs and finance, worldwide, the Times report added.
Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru and Robin Emmott in Brussels; editing by Andrew Roche