VILNIUS, March 22 (Xinhua) -- The cyber security situation in Lithuania improved in 2017, but the number of targeted cyber attacks is forecast to grow further this year, the Ministry of National Defense said in a report published on Thursday.
Altogether 55,000 cyber incidents, or nearly 1150 a day, were handled by the defense ministry's National Cyber Security Centre (NKSC) last year, 1150 of which qualified as incidents of a high or medium level of significance.
In 2016, NKSC handled 49,000 cyber attacks.
A number of technically advanced, lasting and targeted cyber attacks is increasing, the report indicated.
Lithuanian Defense Minister Raimundas Karoblis said the state's cyber security resources were consolidated last year, which led to a breakthrough in discovering and handling the incidents.
"We could detect more malware in cyber space, react faster and block the potential damage," Karoblis was quoted as saying in a ministry's press release.
"The amount of cyber incidents is increasing all over the world and Lithuania is not an exception. We saw many various examples last year, from cases of primitive hooliganism to spying and criminal offenses involving money," Karoblis was quoted as saying at a press conference where the NKSC report was presented.
Karoblis said the Lithuanian authorities managed to block some of the most damaging global attacks as WannaCry, NotPetya, Reaper and others.
"Compared to other countries, the damage of global cyber attacks in Lithuania is scarce," Karoblis added.
According to the report, one of the worrying trends regarding malicious cyber activities in Lithuania is that physical infrastructure has been increasingly targeted in recent years. In 2017, 26 percent of all malicious software incidents were detected in the energy sector, 22 percent in the public security and law enforcement sector, and 21 percent targeted the foreign affairs and national security sector.
NKSC is the country's main cyber security institution, responsible for the unified management of cyber incidents, and the monitoring and control of the implementation of cyber security requirements.