A wide range of cyberattacks crippled Montenegro and the government is struggling to deal with it. while laying the blame for the damage on Russian state hackers.
The attacks, which were carried out Friday and Saturday, crippled government-run transportation services and online platforms for information, as well as water and electricity systems. As of Monday afternoon, Eastern Standard Time, several government websites were still unreachable.
Dukaj, a minister of country administration said IT systems were not permanently damaged and denied that any data was stolen during the attack. Several power companies were forced to revert to manual processes after the attack, according to Reuters.
The U.S. Embassy in Montenegro published its own notice on its website, writing that the government was facing a persistent and ongoing cyberattack. The attack may include disruptions to the public utility, transportation, and telecommunication sectors.
This cyberattack was the second in recent weeks as the country struggles with a political crisis over its ties to Russia.
The National Security Agency of Montenegro doubled down on that assessment, telling local news outlets in a media briefing that they had evidence showing multiple Russian agencies were involved in the attack.
Montenegro has repeatedly expressed support for Ukraine since Russia invaded its neighbor in February, and the country joined Albania and North Macedonia in backing Ukraine’s bid for European Union membership.
Russia allegedly added Montenegro to its list of enemy states after its support for Ukraine was publicized.
The attack on Montenegro caps months of cyber incidents involving European nations. Romania, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Finland, and Latvia have been attacked by pro-Russian hacking groups since the invasion of Ukraine in February.