The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe has been the target of a major cyber attack, a spokeswoman said on Wednesday, confirming a report by French newspaper Le Monde.
However, the security and human rights watchdog would not speculate on reports that Russian hackers were behind the breach.
“There was an attack. We found out about it at the beginning of November,” a spokeswoman for the Vienna-based OSCE said. “The systems are safe now. We were given entirely new security systems and passwords.”
Le Monde quoted a Western intelligence agency saying the attack was likely carried out by the Russian hacking group APT28 – also known as Fancy Bear, Pawn Storm and Sofacy. That group is the same thought to have hacked the US democratic party’s emails to influence the presidential election.
Le Monde said Russia may now be trying to undermine the impartiality and legitimacy of the OSCE over its role in eastern Ukraine.
The organisation, which has 57 member states, is best known for observing elections and for monitoring a ceasefire agreement between Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed separatists in the country’s east.