Cybercrooks target specific EC officials...
European Commission (EC) officials have been targeted in a "serious" online attack on EC computer systems.
The attack was directed at officials at the EC and the European External Action Service, the recently established institution that helps represent the EC in its dealings with the rest of the world.
The attack was discovered on Tuesday 22 March, just before the EU leaders' summit in Brussels.
An EC spokesman said: "This is a serious attack, not because the scale is large but because the wrongdoers are targeting data of certain commission officials."
He declined to provide further details about the nature of the attack or what data was being targeted.
As a precaution, the EC has asked all its officials to change their login password for EC computer systems and has stopped officials from accessing email or the EC intranet over the internet.
The spokesman said the attack had not caused disruption to work at the commission but he would not comment on whether any data had been stolen from EC systems.
An investigation into the attack is being carried out by the EC's inhouse security directorate and its Directorate General for Informatics.