A foreign cyber attack on the computer system of the Georgian Ministry of Health took place on September 1, stealing documents from the country’s Lugar Lab, reports the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Part of the authentic documentation obtained as a result of illegal access into the computer system has been uploaded on a foreign website and is available to the public. However, the website has also uploaded obviously falsified documents, which are deliberately falsified in order to intimidate and confuse the public,” says the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
The information stolen pertained to the country’s management of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs says that the cyber attack was carried out by a foreign special service.
The ministry says that it will appeal to the partner countries for assistance in the rapid and effective investigation of the crime.
Lugar Lab is a permanent target of disinformation and fake news spread by Russia.
Yesterday, the Deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation Yuri Shvytkin told RIA Novosti that Georgia might be involved in the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny by Novichok and said that toxic substances from the Novichok group are manufactured in Georgia and the USA, not in Russia.
Let's proceed from the fact that on our territory we are not engaged in the manufacture of such chemicals. As far as there is information, such weapons, such chemical toxic substances are available on the territory of Georgia from the United States, in the laboratory, and in the United States of America”, Shvytkin said.
Russia has claimed on numerous occasions that the US is funding 'dangerous experiments’ in the centre.
Georgia has denied the Russian accusations and expressed willingness to receive Russian experts in the centre, noting that the centre has nothing to hide.
However, Russia refused to take up the invitation, requesting the visit ‘without the presence of international organisations, in a bilateral format.’
Head of Georgia’s National Centre for Disease Control Amiran Gamkrelidze stated back in late May that Russia uses the centre for ‘political speculation’ as it is angered by Georgia’s foreign orientation.
The Lugar Centre, officially called the Center for Public Health Research, is located in Tbilisi and named after former American Senator Richard Lugar.
It became operational in 2013. The centre is part of Georgia’s National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), under the Georgian Health Ministry.
The construction of the centre was launched in 2004 based on agreements signed between Georgia and US in 1997 and 2002.