Reports indicate that state-sponsored Russian hackers attempted to hack into the email communication systems of the foreign affairs ministry of Italy.
According to sources privy to the matter, authorities in Italy discovered a malware operating in the systems of the country’s foreign affairs ministry towards the end of last year.
Further reports indicate that the malware bore all the hallmarks of the malware that was used to attack the DNC in the US towards the end of last year.
Russian hackers have been largely blamed for the hack against the DNC in which hundreds of highly sensitive emails were leaked.
Many observers believe that the hacking of the DNC servers and the consequent leaking of the sensitive emails tilted the elections against the then Democrats candidate, Hillary Clinton.
In the Italian foreign affairs ministry, it is said that the hackers used the malware to carry out a similar hack. The hackers are said to have targeted the email communications of top officials of the ministry.
The intentions of the hackers remain unknown. However, another source who is privy to the matter but wishes to remain anonymous has told the AFP that the hackers intended to access the email communications of the then Italian foreign affairs minister, Paolo Gentiloni.
However, it is said that the minister did not communicate via email at the time.
‘The hackers managed to access the email accounts of many top officials at the ministry,’ the source said.
Rome has remained quiet about the issue. However, Russian authorities have denied the allegations. Officials in Russia have rubbished the allegations, pointing out that the Russian government has not harboured any intentions of hacking the communication systems of any country in the world.
Sources say that Italian cyber security experts managed to remove the malware from the foreign affairs systems.