Montenegro Election Day Sees DDoS Attacks from Cybercriminals

The Ministry for Information Society and Telecommunications of Montenegro have revealed that several prominent websites were targeted by cybercriminals with DDoS attacks, on the day of the country’s parliamentary elections.

A number of web portals in Montenegro were targeted by cybercriminals on Sunday October 16, the day of the country’s parliamentary elections.

The attacks were a form of Distributed Denial of Service or DDoS, in nature, according to Euractiv.

Targeted websites include the portals of Café del Montenegro or CDM, Radio “Antena M” and the website of the Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro, among several others.

Also, the website of the NGO Centre for Democratic Transition, as well as all of its subdomains were under relentless DDoS bombardment from Thursday, October 13, continually. Montenegrin Telekom (T-com) revealed that it had successfully mitigated DDoS targeting its infrastructure.

Some whispers coming out of the region point to Serbian nationals, accused of being the perpetrators behind the attack. The election itself saw accusations of a coup attempt, followed by arrests of at least 20 Serbian nationals. The current political discussion in Montenegro sees the rife debate about the country’s options in choosing between the West and Russia, the latter who has strong ties with the country.

The attacks were carried out with the intent to render websites and servers unavailable to users as well as disabling computers and other cyber infrastructure, making them obsolete for usage. Targeting party websites, news-media and NGOs was ultimately an attempt to curb the flow of information to the wider public in the days leading up to the election.

The IT ministry has stated that it is coordinating with state authorities while using its national cybersecurity teams to do everything necessary within its jurisdiction. The public was made aware of the DDoS attacks on election day in a timely manner, while other portals in the country did not report any disruption.

At the end, Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic of the Democratic Party of Socialists – whose website was among the victims of the targeted cyberattack – was re-elected. Albeit without a majority and will since need to form a government.

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