Podgorica, 29 August 2022 (TDI): On the behalf of the government of Montenegro, Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic took to Twitter to offer his gratitude for the support and assistance of France and the French Minister Delegate in charge of the Digital Transition and Telecommunications, Jean-Noel Barrot.

“We are developing partnership and creating a safer future for all our citizens” he added further.

Earlier, The Prime Minister had called for help following the Cyberattacks on the government institutions. In response, the French government commissioned ANSSI to provide their technical expertise and assistance.

Scope of the Cyberattack

On August 19, a no-confidence motion overthrew the government in Montenegro. Afterward, two cyberattacks took place within a week.

Outgoing Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic said it was politically motivated following the fall of his government last week.

Previously, hackers had also attacked Montenegro’s state digital infrastructure on election day in 2016, and then again over a span of several months in 2017 when the former Yugoslav republic was about to join NATO.

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While addressing a press conference, Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic revealed that the computer systems of several institutions had been infected, including that of the Ministry of Finance.

The French response

In the wake of these attacks, the NATO member requested France for help. The ally announced to bring their expertise in cybersecurity to avert the crisis.

“The French government responds positively to the request of the Montenegrin authorities and makes available the National Agency for the Security of Information Systems (ANSSI) to carry out a mission of support and assistance in the detection, analysis and remediation of cybersecurity”, the Delegate-Minister in charge of the Digital Transition and Telecommunications, Jean-Noël Barrot and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna declared.

“Solidarity in Europe does not waver in the face of the cyber threat.” French Minister Telecommunications, Jean-Noël Barrot further remarked.

Moreover, they also indicated the future prospects of the mission which is part of a project to create a regional center for cyber capability development. This project is led by France and Slovenia which will be based in Montenegro.