Computers of Neelie Kroes delegation hacked during visit to… internet security conference

12 Nov, 2012

European Commission Vice President and ‘Digital Chief’ Neelie Kroes wrote in a blog post that the computers of her advisers were hacked while she and her team were attending a conference on… internet security in Azerbaijan. Here’s her take:

I wondered for a very long time whether I should attend this week’s Internet Governance Forum in Baku. But in fact many of the dozens of journalists, bloggers, and human rights defenders I met here thought it was helpful. And when the IGF comes to town, radical change often follows. Because, when empowered, connected citizens press for greater freedom. As happened in Tunisia and Egypt in the years after they held this conference.

Waiting to meet political prisoners in a Baku jail, before the authorities eventually denied me access

But on the other hand 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.

Kroes’ spokesman Ryan Heath (who was the user of one of the targeted computers), said the attack occured in their hotel. Apparently it was Apple who warned the delecation that their computers were accessed by an unauthorized party.

“I’m presuming it was some kind of surveillance,” he said in a telephone interview to the AP. “What we’re going to do is to get the computers forensically analyzed to see what if anything was taken out of them.”

He declined to say who he thought might be responsible.

via Neelie Kroes blog – Malala day: an inspiring girl reminds us of the power of the Internet – European Commission.

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Raf Weverbergh

Editor of whiteboard. Raf Weverbergh was a magazine journalist whose work appeared in magazines like Rolling Stone, Playboy, Mail on Sunday, Publico and South China Morning Post. He is the co-founder of FINN, a corporate communications agency where he advises startups and multinationals on their PR and Mustr, the easiest media database for PR professionals. You can contact him on Twitter, Linkedin or Skype (rafweverbergh).

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