All the latest UK technology news, reviews and analysis

EU official’s computers hacked in Azerbaijan visit

13 Nov 2012
Security threats - password theft

Officials from the European Commission (EC) believe their computers may have been hacked during a visit to Azerbaijan by the region's vice president for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes.

Kroes was in the country to attend the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Baku over the weekend, to discuss a number of issues including media and online freedoms.

However, she was left frustrated by the unwillingness of the local authorities to provide access to political prisoners and revealed some staff members had their laptops attacked.

"I was denied access to meet political prisoners, despite a commitment from the president himself. Activists were harassed at the internet conference. My advisers had their computers hacked. So much for openness," she wrote on a blog.

The hacked computers belonged to Kroes' representative Ryan Heath. He subsequently told AP that he received a warning from Apple saying someone was trying to access his device without authorisation.

"I'm presuming it was some kind of surveillance," he said in a telephone interview, AP reported.

"What we're going to do is to get the computers forensically analysed to see what if anything was taken out of them."

Heath subsequently told V3 that no sensitive data was at risk during the incident and the EC is awaiting the results of the analyse before commenting further.

However, Kroes' and Heath's claims were dismissed by the head of Azerbaijani presidential administration for its social and political department, Ali Hasanov, who told local news organisation Trend they were without merit.

"Any interference into their computers is out of the question, no evidence and facts confirming these statements have been revealed."

"This accusation was simply made to harm authority of Azerbaijani state and image of organisers of the Seventh International Internet Governance Forum."

Despite this the incident raises more questions over the importance of strong security on business devices when in use overseas, particularly if they do contain sensitive data.

  • Comment  
  • Tweet  
  • Google plus  
  • Facebook  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Stumble Upon  
Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

View Dan's Google+ profile

More on Security
What do you think?
blog comments powered by Disqus

Windows 10 poll

What are your first impressions of Windows 10?

Popular Threads

Powered by Disqus
V3 Sungard roundtable event - Cloud computing security reliability and scalability discussion

CIOs debate how to overhaul businesses for the digital era

V3 hosts roundtable with Sungard Availability Services

Updating your subscription status Loading

Get the latest news (daily or weekly) direct to your inbox with V3 newsletters.

newsletter sign-up button

Getting started with virtualisation

Virtualisation can help you reduce costs, improve application availability, and simplify IT
management. However, getting started can be challenging


Converting big data and analytics insights into results

Successful leaders are infusing analytics throughout their organisations to drive smarter decisions, enable faster actions and optimise outcomes

DevOps Engineer - Established, Well-know eCommerce Website!

DevOps Engineer, Puppet, Chef, Continuous Integration...

Systems Engineer Windows Server SCCM Exchange Finance London

Systems Engineer (Microsoft Windows Server 2008/2012...

Architect C# ASP.NET Web API Java Digital Finance London

Solutions Architect (C# ASP.NET Web API RESTful REST...

ETL Powercenter Developer

We are currently looking for Informatica IDQ developer...
To send to more than one email address, simply separate each address with a comma.