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Personal Data Breach Regulation

27th Jul 2021
Article 33 of the General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 (GDPR) requires that, as soon as the data controller becomes aware that a personal data breach has occurred, it should without undue delay and, where feasible, not later than 72 hours after having become aware of it, notify the personal data breach to the supervisory authority, unless the controller can demonstrate that the breach is unlikely to result in a risk for the rights and freedoms of individuals. “Personal data breach” is defined in Article 4(12) GDPR as a “breach of security leading to the accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of personal data transmitted, stored or otherwise processed.” Where this cannot be achieved within 72 hours, an explanation of the reasons for the delay should accompany the notification to the supervisory authority and information may be provided in phases without undue further delay.

Furthermore, data subjects should be notified without undue dela...
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Analysis of foreign influence and cyber incidents during the Latvian municipal elections 2021

21st Jul 2021
Disclamer: This analysis was conducted by one of Sub-case owners ( that recently joined the SPARTA T-SHARK Program. The aim of the “Analysis of foreign influence and cyber incidents during the Latvian municipal elections 2021” was to demonstrate how the incidents collected from the different data sources (Information and cyber environment) can be linked and analysed together and how the decision makers can benefit from the full spectrum of cybersecurity awareness.

In the beginning of June, regular municipal elections were held in Latvia. Even though the municipality of Riga did not hold the elections this year, the capital was targeted the most amid the decision of the mayor to remove the Belarusian flag during the hockey tournament. 

To complete this analysis, joined the T-SHARK programme, which concentrates on combining information and technological spheres to draw connections between cyber incidents and the information landscape. Analysis of Latvian mu...
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Making Cybersecurity more Responsible

16th Jul 2021
Cybersecurity has become more and more critical for the functioning of our society. Cybersecurity measures, however, may come at the expense of other interests and values. This is problematic since those who decide on security measures in politics, industry and law enforcement don’t have the same interests and priorities as those who are finally affected by them, namely citizens and companies. Researchers and engineers implementing cyber security measures may have their ideas and priorities. Thus, finding the right balance between the interests of different stakeholders remains difficult even if actors are aware of possible value conflicts. It is also obvious that the social groups affected by cybersecurity measures and the range of impacts can vary greatly and depend heavily on the specific use cases and implementation details, so that no concrete instructions for action can be given apart from very general guidelines.

One way to address this conflict is through the concept of “re...
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SPARTA organized Summer School on the relationship between cybersecurity and privacy

12th Jul 2021
SPARTA and CyberSec4Europe are involved in the organisation of the 16th Summer School on Privacy and Identity Management, which will take place in August 2021. This Summer School is a joint effort together with IFIP, the International Federation for Information Processing and its working groups on Social Accountability and Cybersecurity. 

The topic of the Summer School is “It’s complicated: Exploring the complex relationship between cybersecurity, privacy, and other liberties”. These relations are manifest at both regulatory and practical levels: with digital media and information technology as everyday commodities, an increasing number of attacks on IT security are based on privacy breaches and privacy breaches are facilitated by security attacks. Examples include CEO fraud, spear fishing, and leakage of consumer information like credit card details. Although there is a general consensus that security, privacy, and data protection are interrelated, the complexity of their relation...
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More efficient information gathering from DNS servers

7th Jul 2021
author: Ladislav Lhotka

translation: Petra Raszková

Since the end of January 2021, all authoritative DNS servers operated by CZ.NIC association collect information about DNS transactions (queries and responses) using the new standard format Compacted-DNS (C-DNS).

Its specification is incorporated in RFC 8618. For the process of data gathering is used DNS Probe software developed in CZ.NIC labs in cooperation with FIT VUT in Brno. This completed approximately a half-year phase of transition from the traditional and previously used PCAP format. During this phase was tested performance as well as the stability of DNS Probe and afterwards the results obtained from both formats were compared. 

C-DNS unlike PCAP was made especial for saving and transfer of great numbers of DNS transactions. It was designated in order to be as efficient and flexible as possible, which on the other hand is related with its relative complicatedness. A more detailed description is beyond ambit of this con...
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SPARTA Data Sharing Infrastructure

24th Jun 2021
Data sharing is one of the key aspects of building a comprehensive cybersecurity concept within the T-SHARK programme. Shared cyber incident-related data, extracted using different technological tools; structured contextual information from different sources makes it possible to connect separate events, better understand targets and build situation awareness in the whole ecosystem. 

The specially developed SPARTA Data Sharing infrastructure consists of the integration of two main existing sharing platforms: the “MISP Threat Sharing’’ systems and the “C3ISP Collaborative and Confidential Information Sharing and Analysis for Cyber Protection’’ system. The main frontend of the SPARTA Data Sharing Infrastructure will be represented by the MISP data-sharing platform because the MISP graphical user interface offers a wide number of functionalities to help users in their searches and analysis and, at the same time, it is very easy and intuitive to be used. Secondly, the data format used t...
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ROUNDATABLE: “From education, going through the R&D&i, towards the Intelligent Company”

17th Jun 2021
Last week the “VI National Cybersecurity Research Days” conference ( was held in Spain, in which Ana Ayerbe from TECNALIA presented SPARTA in a roundtable organised by the Spanish Chapter of the Women4Cyber initiative.

The roundtable covered the different issues related to the cybersecurity supply chain, starting with the education needs to cover the talent gap, going through the different efforts in the Research and Development area, to finalise with the technological transfer of technologies and solutions towards the companies, and the creation of Cybersecurity startups.

The roundtable started with a presentation by Mar Lopez from the National Cybersecurity Department (DSN) that talked about the status of Cybersecurity at Spanish level, the talent needs and the gender and diversity dimension introducing the Women4Cyber initiative.

After that, two entrepreneurs talked about their experience in the Cybersecurity world: Azucena Hernández, CEO of EUROC...
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Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria & SPARTA Cybersecurity Curricula Designer

7th Jun 2021
Today we are happy to share with you that, within the context of the Go Cyber with SPARTA campaign, promoted by WP12 – Dissemination and Communication – and leveraged by WP9 – Cybersecurity Training and Awareness, SPARTA has delivered a workshop on how to successfully design and implement a bachelor study program on cybersecurity to the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC).

The first session of the workshop started off with a brief presentation of the SPARTA project, the *Go Cyber with SPARTA** campaign and the far-reaching work of the WP9, that already counts with the deployment of a Cybersecurity Skills Framework, a user- friendly Cybersecurity Education Map and an intuitive Cybersecurity Curricula Designer, a tool that connects education providers with cybersecurity job market.

The second session, led by Edmundas Piesarskas, was dedicated to explaining the challenges that the EU is facing in the cybersecurity domain and how a Cybersecurity Skills Framework is part o...
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pz → Python instead of Bash

7th May 2021
author: Edvard Rejthar

translation: Petra Raszková


I would like to present you the pz utility as pythonize, intended for a command line user with knowledge of Python. Current Linux distributions have many efficient tools for input processing at their disposal. But have you ever wished that you could use Python syntax instead?

Do you often browse through the manual, and trying to find out how do those switches for formatting behave? Do you find the Bash source code difficult to read? Then, this article is meant for you.

You will learn how to write a simple program and how the program is evaluated, which variables are available. You will find out a few words about auto-import, switches and also some examples of use.

The command line is an outstanding user interface which is characterized by stunning global (if not) enthusiasm, then range. It is possible to connect to the terminal almost on the last washing machine. Some users are afraid of using of the command line, however so...
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A First Look at Android Applications in Google Play related to Covid-19

29th Apr 2021
The APKcovid work aims at evaluating the security and efficiency of covid tracing applications, to ensure that these applications limit themselves to the purpose of contact tracing and do not intrude into user privacy by accessing unnecessary information available in the smartphone.

Paper available at:

To appear in Springer Empirical Software Engineering, 2021

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Re-imagining the way cybersecurity research, innovation, and training are performed in Europe across domains and expertise, from foundations to applications, in academia and industry


SPARTA will create a long-lasting community capable of collaboration to define, develop, share, and evolve solutions that will help practitioners prevent cybercrime and enhance cybersecurity.


Become a unique innovation force in cybersecurity with transformative impacts on European Union economy, infrastructures, society and democracy.

It's a tough road ahead

With one of the most advanced and multi-cultural research ecosystem in the world, the European Union has the means to take on the cybersecurity challenge. Its scientists have the opportunity to become a unique innovation force in cybersecurity with transformative impacts on our economy, infrastructures, society, and democracy.

Yet many challenges need to be addressed before such a vision can be successful.

How can we design and effectively maintain a European roadmap in cybersecurity research?

How might we cultivate out-of-the-box thinking in research endeavours?

What is the most effective way to maintain excellence in multi-disciplinary pursuits?

These first three items are instrumental to foster a culture of risk-taking – a critical asset for creativity in the face of innovative threats.

These last three items are absolutely key to ensure that the SPARTA network will produce concrete and transformative results. More importantly, they are instrumental in making these results suitable for a wide variety of applications in vertical sectors, creating technological vantage points and economic leverage.

How do we sustain strategic analysis and guidance for research and innovation?

What is the best way to implement flexibility in research actions?

How can we leverage the accumulated strengths of the European industry?

Organizing tomorrow's research activities

Governance activities form the backbone of the network, supporting community activities that range from roadmap design to Request for Challenges, from monthly SPARTA Workshops to bi-yearly SPARTA Days. Research programs are continuously spun from strands of the roadmap, led by experts of their fields, and aim at generating concrete and transformative results.

Develop an ambitious Cybersecurity Research and Innovation Roadmap leveraging Europe’s strengths and opportunities, across multiple disciplines, maturity levels, and geographical locations.

Set up space, time, and means to enable research collaborations, leveraging the strengths of existing structures and organisations around a Joint Competence Center Infrastructure.

Explore innovative work in full- spectrum situational awareness, with the goal of enabling the supervision of complex systems over heterogeneous time scales.

Develop a foundation for secure- by-design intelligent infrastructure built on strong formal approaches, addressing multiple cybersecurity facets.

Investigate new avenues for continuous assessment and new evaluation tools and techniques for handling tomorrow's dynamic and elastic digital systems.

Devise approaches to make systems using AI more reliable and resilient through enhanced explainability and better threat understanding.

Foster the emergence of a thriving and responsible research and innovation model, allowing the development of unique innovation paths, contributing to European strategic autonomy.

Establish unparalleled traction with European, national, and regional ecosystems, relaying concrete requirements, disruptive ideas, and novel results through multi-level and cross-network actions and events.