Hungarian government organisation hacked, data completely destroyed

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The Hungarian Development Centre is forced to start its administration from scratch, as it claims it was hacked in mid-July and its entire digital database was destroyed, news portal 24.hu reported on Wednesday.
ANKARA, TURKEY - MARCH 06: (Editors Note: This image has been created using multiple exposure in camera) A man is seen behind numbers using a laptop in Ankara, Turkey on March 06, 2019. (Photo by Aytac Unal/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The server hacked at the government organisation which has been in operation since 2014 was the one that contained the entire official documentation, contracts, invoices, corporate software, essentially all digital data linked to its activities, according to local weekly 168 Óra.

The exact date of the hack remains unclear, as neither the Development Centre (HDC or MFK in Hungarian), nor its supervisory organisation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade replied to the paper’s inquiries.

The MFK is tasked with the monitoring of European Union tenders financed by the European Structural and Investment Funds, and with informing the public administration, municipalities and the NGO sector of available funding and tender terms. The MFK co-operates not only with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, but also with the National Development Ministry, the Ministry of Agriculture, several government organisations, as well as NGOs, sports and other organisations.

The centre operates the Tenders in Hungarian (Pályázatok Magyarul) website which makes it almost certain that the documents for tenders worth billions of forints were destroyed.

Lacking confirmation by any of the ministries or other official government organisation, the report by 168 Óra was confirmed by Dénes Debreczeny, technical director of the Hungarian Rugby Association, over the phone. The association is impacted by the incident in several ways, as the director of the development centre, Antal Kiss, is also president of the association. The Rugby Association also stored its data on the hacked server, but fortunately copies of most of its official documents, along with the accounts of its transactions are stored at the Ministry of Human Capacities, which was asked to help recover and replace the lost documents.

Given that a government organisation was hacked, the Constitution Protection Office had to investigate. Dénes Debreczeny learned indirectly that the hack originated in North Korea.

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