President Rafael Correa of Ecuador said Thursday that his government had detected cyber attacks against his administration and the armed forces originating from Colombian territory, according to local media.
The Ecuadorean leader said that the country had already adopted security measures against the alleged hacks, which he described as being of a “systematic nature” from “organized networks,” according to the Colombian weekly Semana. He gave no more details about the identity of those responsible.
“We have traced these attacks many times, which have attempted to get information from the database of the Presidency, the hard drive of the president, the Armed Forces, Joint Command, and some of these attacks had their origin in Colombia,” Correa said at a press conference.
Cyber attacks against his government had happened “many times” before, the president said, but they were not announced over supposed worries that the press would manipulate the information to criticize his government.
Measures to increase cyber security, particularly of the armed forces, were announced in September, which included an investment of $8 million into a new security agency, according to El Espectador.
With regard to the intention of the attacks, the president claimed that they sought to obtain confidential information to harm his government.
Colombia-Ecuador relations have warmed since President Santos came to office in 2010 after icy years during the hard-line Uribe administration.
More border-crossings have opened and bilateral trade has increased, and despite a row over aerial fumigation, relations have remained friendly.
Correa has aided the Santos administration in its goal to sign peace accords with leftist insurgencies by hosting exploratory talks with ELN guerrilla group in his country. Official talks between the Colombian government and the group have yet to begin.