Latvian Defense Ministry warns about fake emails from Russia

Latvia's Defense Ministry said February 20 that bogus emails had been reported purporting to have been sent by Defense Minister Artis Pabriks but which were in fact fakes.

"Yesterday, February 19, using a false e-mail address on behalf of Defense Minister Artis Pabriks, several recipients were sent a message with false and compromising content," a ministry statement said.

"Fake e-mails with the signature of Defense Minister Pabriks were sent from Russian-based servers," the ministry said, relating that the content apparently concerned fictitious activities that were supposed to have taken place in a Rīga bar on February 16, though the ministry release did not go into any detail. 

“I would like to congratulate our cyber security experts from CERT.LV, who quickly removed fake emails and found that they were sent from Russian servers. I can only wonder whether I have earned such "attention" with a critical interview with the Russian radio station "Eho Moskvi" or "too active" work at the Munich Security Conference," said Pabriks.

The Ministry of Defense described the email effort as "a classic identity counterfeiting operation" that was most likely used to find out the IP addresses of those reading the email message.

"Moreover, this is a way to discredit the Minister of Defense and the defense sector as widely as possible with the aim of promoting public distrust," it said, pointing out that in fact Pabriks was in Munich from February 15 to 17 so not in a position to do anything at all in a Rīga bar.

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