Spanish National Research Council hit by ransomware attack

On August 2, the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation issued an announcement confirming that its Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) was hit by a ransomware-type cyber attack on July 16 and 17, among which they do data protection for a long time.

The Spanish National Research Council, also known as the Spanish Higher Research Council, is the largest multi-scientific scientific research organization in Spain. Its research activities mainly involve: physics, chemistry, natural resources, oceanography, life sciences, Astrophysics, mathematics, biotechnology, etc. The Council has 100 research centers located in various regions of Spain, with 7,500 staff, including 2,000 scientists and 1,500 administrative staff.

The Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) is an important national agency for scientific research and technological development under the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation. In addition to this, it has a special status because it has “its own sources of assets and funding, functional and managerial autonomy”.

It is reported that the cyber attack was detected on July 18. Immediately after the intrusion was identified, the protocols of the Cyber Security Operations Center (COCS) and the National Cryptography Center (CCN) were activated. CSIC followed the protocol and cut off network access to individual research centres to contain the attack and prevent it from spreading to research centres not directly affected.

CSIC did not say whether any of its systems were encrypted. The CSIC said an investigation into the incident was ongoing, but the team in charge found no signs of attackers stealing sensitive or classified information.

It is worth noting that although the final report of the investigation has not yet been reached, experts point to the source of the cyber attack being Russia.

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Spain’s Ministry of Science and Innovation said the attack was similar to that suffered by other research centers, such as the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

The Max Planck Institute for Astronomy is a non-profit research institute consisting of nearly 80 research institutes and one of the most prestigious institutes in the world, with dozens of scientists who are Nobel Prize winners . In July, the group disclosed that systems at its Institute of Plasma Physics were infected with the Emotet malware.

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