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Institutions in Montenegro targeted by cyberattack

Several government institutions in Montenegro are currently the target of a major computer attack. This is the second cyberattack, after a first wave having hit institutions in this country of 620,000 inhabitants in the wake of a motion of censure which overthrew its government on August 19.

The small Balkan country, a member of NATO, has asked its allies for help to try to limit the damage, announced Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic. After meeting the National Security Council late Friday to decide on the measures to be taken, the head of government, who manages current affairs, did not speak about the origins of this attack, but his Minister of Defense designated the Russia.

“Who could have an interest in inflicting such damage on Montenegro? »

Russia added Montenegro to its list of “enemy countries” in March, following its alignment with European Union sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine in February. For Defense Minister Rasko Konjevic, these are “very sophisticated attacks that cannot be carried out by individuals”. “Who could have any sort of political interest to inflict such damage on Montenegro? I find that there are enough (elements) to doubt that Russia is behind the attack,” he said on national television.

“We were unable to confirm, at the council, by people competent in this field, whether an individual, a group or a State was behind (this attack), but we could not exclude that either”, said Dritan Abazovic at a press conference. The computer systems of several institutions were “infected”, including that of the Ministry of Finance, he added. “Montenegro will appeal to international partners for expert help to recover any data recovered in this attack and to prevent future attacks,” the prime minister said.

“The accounts of citizens and companies, like their data, are not threatened,” assured the Minister of Public Service, Maras Dukaj. According to an “informal briefing” for the local press at the National Security Agency (ANB), “all essential infrastructure” is at risk, including electricity and water supply systems. The power plants have switched to the manual mode of operation.

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