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Austrian government hit by possible nation-state attack

(Image credit: Shutterstock.com / Nicescene)

The Austrian government has confirmed it has been targeted by a large-scale cyberattack.

The assault, which focused on the country's foreign ministry, began on Saturday night, and continued for much of the weekend.

A ministry statement said that the scale of the attack suggested it may have been carried out by a "state actor" - suggesting it was the work of a malicious foreign country.

Seriousness

"Given the type and seriousness of the attack we assume this probably concerns a state actor and not criminals," the ministry statement said, adding that the attack was quickly detected and a response launched shortly after.

"Despite all intensive security measures, there is never 100% protection against cyber-attacks."

There are signs that the attack may have been politically-motivated, as it came on the same day that the ruling Green party announced it would support forming a coalition with its conservative rivals.

So-called nation-state attacks have become a growing risk in recent years, with North Korea and Iran suspected of carrying out multiple assaults against businesses and other nations.

However the notorious Russian Fancy Bear group have also been accused of several attacks, including one against the German parliament in 2015.

Via BBC