João Gomes Cravinho met this Thursday in Washington with the US National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan, and with the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, a moment he took the opportunity to address the cyberattack, indicating that the mood is calmer.
“We had the opportunity to speak briefly [about the cyberattack] with Jake Sullivan, a little more with Antony Blinken. The spirits are very calm, because, as Blinken stressed, very sincerely, this is a field in which we are all learning. We all have vulnerabilities and we have to support each other”, the MNE told Portuguese journalists at the end of the meeting with Blinken.
“We were very pleased with some American proposals regarding ways to collaborate with us, to close any doors and windows that may be open. This is a very technical, very complex field and our experts are working very hard in collaboration with NATO, in collaboration with allies like the United States. And, therefore, what we did here was simply to verify the availability to continue this good collaboration that we have been having”, added the MNE.
The Public Ministry opened an investigation this week linked to the cyberattack against the General Staff of the Armed Forces in which classified NATO documents were extracted and offered for sale on the dark web, indicated the Attorney General's Office.
According to the Diário de Notícias last week, the Portuguese Government was informed of the situation by the US intelligence services, through the embassy in Lisbon, through a communication that was made directly to the Prime Minister, António Costa, in last August.
The same newspaper mentioned that this case is considered of “extreme gravity” and that it was the American cyberspies that detected “hundreds of documents sent by NATO to Portugal, classified as secret and confidential, for sale on the dark web”.
At the time, the Ministry of National Defense stated that it was already investigating “all signs of a potential breach of computer security” and claimed the “sensitivity” of those processes so as not to comment on the reported exfiltration of NATO documents.