The Spokesperson of MFA – The cyber-attack was targeted at Georgia’s national security
On 28 October 2019, a large scale cyber-attack was launched against the websites, servers and other operating systems of the Administration of the President of Georgia, the courts, various municipal assemblies, state bodies, private sector organizations and media outlets. As a result, the servers and operating systems of these organizations were damaged. Such a statement made Vladimir Konstantinidi, Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
As he said, this cyber-attack was targeted at Georgia’s national security and was intended to harm Georgian citizens and Government structures by disrupting and paralyzing the functionality of various organizations, thereby causing anxiety among the general public.
“The investigation conducted by the Georgian authorities, together with information gathered through cooperation with partners, concluded that this cyber-attack was planned and carried out by the Main Division of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russia.
Georgia condemns this cyber-attack, which goes against international norms and principles, once again infringing Georgia’s sovereignty in order to hinder the country’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration and democratic development.
This incident emphasizes the importance of the Government’s efforts to strengthen cyber security at the national level and again demonstrates the need to build international partnerships on cyber-security.
Georgia, for its part, will continue close cooperation with partners, strengthening cyber-security at the national level in order to minimise such risks and potential threats in the future”, - concluded Vladimir Konstantinidi.
Michael Pompeo - The U.S. condemns Russian cyber attack against Georgia
The United States condemns the Russian cyber attack against the state of Georgia. Such a statement made the Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and it was released by the US Embassy to Georgia.
“On October 28, 2019, the Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) Main Center for Special Technologies carried out a widespread disruptive cyber attack against the country of Georgia. The incident, which directly affected the Georgian population, disrupted operations of several thousand Georgian government and privately-run websites and interrupted the broadcast of at least two major television stations. This action contradicts Russia’s attempts to claim it is a responsible actor in cyberspace and demonstrates a continuing pattern of reckless Russian GRU cyber operations against a number of countries. These operations aim to sow division, create insecurity, and undermine democratic institutions.
The United States calls on Russia to cease this behavior in Georgia and elsewhere. The stability of cyberspace depends on the responsible behavior of nations. We, together with the international community, will continue our efforts to uphold an international framework of responsible state behavior in cyberspace.
We also pledge our support to Georgia and its people in enhancing their cybersecurity and countering malicious cyber actors. We will offer additional capacity building and technical assistance to help strengthen Georgia’s public institutions and improve its ability to protect itself from these kinds of activities”’ - reads the statement.
UK condemns Russia’s GRU over Georgia cyber-attacks
The UK, Georgia and international partners have exposed the GRU’s – Russia’s military intelligence service – responsibility for a number of significant cyber-attacks against Georgia last year. Such a statement released the Embassy of the United Kingdom to Georgia.
“These were against a range of Georgian web hosting providers and resulted in websites being defaced, including sites belonging to the Georgian Government, courts, NGOs, media and businesses, and also interrupted the service of several national broadcasters.
These cyber-attacks are part of Russia’s long-running campaign of hostile and destabilizing activity against Georgia. The UK is clear that the GRU conducted these cyber-attacks in an attempt to undermine Georgia’s sovereignty, to sow discord and disrupt the lives of ordinary Georgian people. The UK remains unwavering in its support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”, reads the statement.
The UK Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, also responded to the above, saying that:
“The GRU’s reckless and brazen campaign of cyber-attacks against Georgia, a sovereign and independent nation, is totally unacceptable.
The Russian Government has a clear choice: continue this aggressive pattern of behavior against other countries, or become a responsible partner which respects international law.
The UK will continue to expose those who conduct reckless cyber-attacks and work with our allies to counter the GRU’s menacing behavior”, - reads the statement of Raab.
Davit Zalkaliani thanks Michael Pompeo for his support
The Foreign Minister of Georgia thanked Michael Pompeo for his support.
“We highly appreciate support we have just received from Secretary Pompeo and his strong condemnation of Russia’s attempt to infiltrate Georgia’s cyberspace - action amounting to infringement of Georgia’s sovereignty. We will continue close cooperation with the US minimize such risks and threats”, - tweeted Davit Zalkaliani.
Salome Zourabichvili - The cyber-attack is a blatant violation of international norms by Russia
“With the cyber-attack on the official website of the President of Georgia on October 28, 2019, Russia directly attacked the sovereignty and national security of the country, trying to paralyze the activities of state institutions. This cyber-attack is a blatant violation of international norms by Russia and a visible manifestation of a hybrid war against Georgia”, - reads the statement of the President of Georgia.
Giorgi Gakharia - This was an intolerable act attempting to undermine our sovereignty
“Last October, Georgia suffered a reckless cyber-attack affecting state, media and business entities. This was an intolerable act attempting to undermine our sovereignty. We deeply appreciate the vocal support from our partners and allies around the world”, - tweeted Giorgi Gakharia.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister responds to Georgia"s statement on cyber-attack
“Russia was and is not going to interfere with Georgia"s home affairs, in any way. For this comment, we hold accountable those representatives of Georgia who have made it. Russia does not intend and has never intended to in any way meddle in Georgia"s internal and foreign affairs”, - said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko told the RIA Novosti news agency.