The Czech Republic faced extensive computer spy attacks from Russia last year. Most active in attacking Czech institutions was the APT28/Sofacy campaign of Russian military intelligence service GRU. This campaign is not only aimed at data acquisition but is increasingly focusing on thefts of personal data and logins to various systems.
At the beginning of last year, Czech counter-intelligence uncovered, for example, unauthorized access to more than 150 mailboxes of employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including top officials. The Russians thus obtained data useful for future attacks and a list of other possible targets in state institutions. Attacks on emails of people associated with the Ministry of Defense and the Czech Army have also been reported.
The second most active secret service in the Czech Republic was according to BIS the Chinese one. While the Russians have focused on influence operations and extraction of resources, China has focused less on influence and more on intelligence penetration. The BIS warns of Russian and Chinese diplomats and businessmen and the frivolity of some Czech politicians and state employees who keep in touch with them.
Russia’s goal, according to BIS, is to weaken NATO and the EU through the member states of these organizations. In the Czech Republic, for example, it uses freedom of speech, and disinformation websites that serve Russian interests without Russia initiating it. The BIS report also deals with the growing economic activities of foreign investors, especially from Russia and China.
In the Czech Republic, supporters of traditional extremism – the far right and far left – are in decline. Their numbers are decreasing, and they cannot reach the young generation. In connection with extremism, the report also describes the reorganization of the movement, which, in the wake of the migrant crisis, opposed Islam, in the “anti-government” movement. As a result of the low number of migrants flowing to Europe, Czech anti-immigration rhetoric is not being addressed by Czechs, and so these people have focused on other themes that evoke an emotional response from the public.