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Russian cyberattacks on the Foreign Ministry corroborated

May 24th, 2024

A left-wing analyst urges FM Szíjjártó to resign, because it turned out that his ministry lied when it denied the Russian cyber-attacks, while a pro-government pundit accuses the Left of falsely accusing the government of what they are doing themselves – selling out Hungary’s interests.

In March 2022, a liberal fact-finding journalist published documents proving that the IT network of the Foreign Ministry suffered repeated cyber-attacks by Russian hackers. Foreign Minister Péter Szíjjártó then called the report an electoral campaign lie. Last week, 444 printed the text of a counter-espionage report to the Foreign Ministry from the autumn of 2021 detailing the damage caused by Russian hackers.

In Népszava, Zoltán Batka deems it outrageous that instead of expelling Russian diplomats and protesting against the intrusion, the Foreign Ministry found it fit to deny the scandal. He accuses the government of having become an outpost of Russian interests within NATO. He finds the Foreign Minister guilty of covering up the intrusion scandal and calls on him to resign.

In a lengthy analysis on Telex, András Dezső writes that the Russian hackers did not access classified documents but could gather a large amount of information that may help them recruit agents and analyse political moves and situations.

In Magyar Nemzet, Gergely Huth dismisses claims that the government is subservient to Russia as ridiculous. If Hungarian leaders were Russian assets, he asks, why would the Russian services have to hack the IT system of the Hungarian Foreign Ministry? Meanwhile, he suggests, the left-liberal opposition ‘operates as an agency of foreign interests’ and it is therefore disingenuous on their part to accuse the government of subservience to foreign powers.

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