European Union officials have formally accused the Russian government and its state hackers of meddling inside the elections and political systems of several EU states.
In a statement published on Friday, the EU said that the Russian government is behind a hack-and-leak operation known as Ghostwriter.
Active since 2017, the campaign consists of Russian hackers breaking into news websites or social media accounts of government officials in order to publish forged documents, fake news, and misleading opinions meant to sway elections, disrupt local political ecosystems, and create distrust of US and NATO forces.
First documented by security firm FireEye last year [PDF], the campaign has primarily targeted officials and news sites inside Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland, in a campaign that has also continued throughout 2021 as well [PDF].
Among the group’s most infamous attack last year was an attempt to distribute a forged letter from the NATO Secretary General to Lithuania’s Defense Ministry purporting to announce the withdrawal of NATO troops from the country.