Montenegro Takes Quick Action as it Gets Hit by a Cyberattack

  • Last updated August 27, 2022
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Montenegro’s government’s digital infrastructure became a victim of an “unprecedented” cyberattack, although timely measures were taken to mitigate the impact, according to authorities on Friday.

Public Administration Minister Maras Dukaj addressed the people on Twitter and informed them:

“Certain services were switched off temporarily for security reasons but the security of accounts belonging to citizens and companies and their data have not been jeopardized.”

According to Dukaj, the attack began on Thursday night. It resembled many of the attacks that were carried forward in the past few years in a small Adriatic republic, and Montenegro, which is a member of NATO, immediately alerted the allies regarding the attack.

The U.S Embassy in Podgorica (capital of Montenegro) warned people on its website:

“A persistent and ongoing cyber-attack is in process in Montenegro. The attack may include disruptions to the public utility, transportation (including border crossings and airport), and telecommunication sectors.”

The embassy also advised U.S citizens to put a hold on traveling to Montenegro and limit their movements with the country to basic necessities. They also said to keep their travel documents up to date and within reach.

A new portal Vijesti cited that National Security Agency (ANB) said that the attack was “unprecedented.”

The state-owned power utility EPCG has turned to manual operations in order to prevent possible damages caused after the warning issued by the ANB, as it can also be targeted next. Vijesti also cited Milutin Djukanovic, the president of the EPCG Board of Directors.

As a precaution, a few client services may not be available as they’ve been deactivated.

On Friday evening, outgoing Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic called the National Security Council into session to discuss the details of the attack. According to him, the attack had a political motive, given his government’s fall last week.

In the past, hackers also hacked into the country’s digital infrastructure back in 2016 during the elections and then once more in 2017 as the country was about to become a part of NATO as a member.

According to the Voice of America, an unidentified NATO official quoted that the western military alliance has been informed through the reports of the cyberattacks in Montenegro and to extend a helping hand in case of need.

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