Compared to most of the security institutions in Central Europe, the Czech Security Information Service (BIS) managed to describe Russian and Chinese intelligence activities in the Czech Republic in a remarkable detail. There are several points in the latest Annual Report we would like to highlight:
- Russian and Chinese activities threatening the Czech security and other interests are a continuous priority for the BIS. While Russian activities “continuously focused primarily on influence operations and exploitation of Czech sources”, the Chinese changed up their tactics and focused more on intelligence infiltration instead of influence.
- The size of the Russian diplomatic mission which includes a high number of individuals with affiliation to the Russian intelligence services represents several risks, especially because of the reckless attitude of Czech politicians and civil servants towards unclassified but non-public information.
- Russian acquisitions of Czech private companies fully correspond with the Russian hybrid strategy, especially when it comes to Russian links to cases related to corruption or other illegal activities. Such activities are dangerous for economic interests of the Czech Republic but might also result in compromising information getting into the hands of the Russian Federation.
- The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ information system has been compromised by a cyber-attack which started in the beginning of 2016 and was detected in the start of 2017. The attackers accessed more than 150 mailboxes of the MFA staff, including the Minister.
Disinformation websites appearing in the Czech online space are only a small part of a hybrid strategy deployed with the goal to disrupt NATO and the EU by weakening its member states.
Published in EUROPEAN VALUES THINK TANK on 4 December 2018.
published: 4. 12. 2018