Fake e-mails from the Defence Minister spread through Russian servers

Defence policy
Information prepared by
Media relations section

On 19 February, numerous public e-mail accounts received message containing false and damaging information. These e-mails, signed by Defence Minister Artis Pabriks, were sent from a fake address.

Fake e-mails signed by Defence Minister Pabriks were spread through servers based in Russia. ‘Message from the Defence Minister’ says that he purportedly spent time after work in one of the Old Town bars on 16 February, engaging in indecent activities.

“I would like to thank our cyber security experts from CERT.LV. They did an excellent job destroying fake e-mails not long after they were found and determining that those e-mails were sent from servers in Russia. I can only guess what provoked such ‘attention’ to me. Maybe it is my appearance on Russian radio station Eho Moskvi, where I shared my critique. Or, maybe, ‘active engagement’ during the Munich Security Conference”, Minister Artis Pabriks commented.

Ministry of Defence believes that this e-mail is a typical phishing expedition with identity fraud to collect IP addresses of those who had opened the e-mail. 

Moreover, this e-mail fraud is an attempt to widely discredit the Defence Minister and the whole defence sector, undermining the public trust in both.

Ministry urges everyone to verify the contents of any fake e-mail messages and critically evaluate any information.

Ministry would also like to clarify that at the time of events described in the e-mail message Minister Pabriks was at the 55th Munich Security Conference. Defence Minister was at the Munich Security Conference from the 15th to 17th of February.

Media contacts: 
Media Relations Section
Military Public Affairs Department
Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Latvia
E-mail: prese@mod.gov.lv
Website: www.mod.gov.lv