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War crimes tribunal says September cyberattack was spying attempt

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An exterior view of the International Criminal Court in the Hague, Netherlands, March 31, 2021. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw/File Photo

The International Criminal Court said on Friday that a cyberattack it suffered in September was a case of attempted espionage.

The war crimes court, which is based in the Hague in the Netherlands, said in a statement that it had not yet been able to determine who might have been behind the attack.

“The evidence available thus far indicates a targeted and sophisticated attack with the objective of espionage,” the court said in a statement reviewing the incident.

“The attack can therefore be interpreted as a serious attempt to undermine the Court’s mandate.”

The court, which holds sensitive records related to alleged war crimes it investigates around the world, did not disclose whether any data had been stolen.

“ Should evidence be found that specific data entrusted to the Court has been compromised, those affected would be contacted immediately,” it said.

Prosecutors at the court are currently conducting 17 investigations into situations in Ukraine, Uganda, Venezuela, Afghanistan and the Philippines, among others.

In March, the ICC made headlines when it issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin on suspicion of illegally deporting children from Ukraine. The Kremlin rejects the accusations and the court’s jurisdiction.

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