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Austrian Foreign Ministry Reports 'Serious Cyberattack'

FILE - The Austrian Foreign Ministry said Jan. 4, 2020, that a "coordination committee" had been set up to respond to a cyberattack.

Austria's Foreign Ministry is facing a "serious cyberattack," it said late Saturday, warning another country could be responsible.

"Due to the gravity and nature of the attack, it cannot be excluded that it is a targeted attack by a state actor," the ministry said in a statement shortly before 11 p.m. (2200 GMT), adding that the attack was ongoing.

"In the past, other European countries have been the target of similar attacks," the statement continued.

Immediate measures had been taken and a "coordination committee" set up, it said without elaborating.

The attack came as Austria's Greens on Saturday gave the go-ahead to a coalition with the country's conservatives at a party congress in Salzburg, removing the last obstacle to the unprecedented alliance.

The German government's IT network in 2018 was hit by a cyberattack.

Last year, the EU adopted powers to punish those outside the bloc who launch cyberattacks that cripple hospitals and banks, sway elections, or steal company secrets or funds.