Another European parliament attacked, work halted for days

Prosecutors in the European country of Bosnia and Herzegovina, known as Bosnia and Herzegovina, are investigating a massive cyber attack that has allegedly affected the normal functioning of the country’s parliament.

The website of the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina has been down for the past two weeks. Local news outlet Nezavisne contacted several lawmakers about the matter, who said they had been told to ban access to their e-mails and official documents, or even better not use a computer at all.

A spokesman for the Prosecutor’s Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina said they had received the case a few days ago.

Spokesman Boris Grubešić said, “The prosecutor on duty that day issued the necessary instructions to law enforcement officials, hoping to clarify the specific circumstances of the case, while providing cybersecurity protection for IT networks and institutions at all levels.”

“The case is under investigation and we cannot disclose anything else at this time.”

Parliament has lost its ability to work, MPs criticise security officers for not caring about safety

Zlatko Miletić, a representative of the House of Representatives of the Bosnian Parliament, told local media Nezavisne that the legislature is currently incapacitated and that the attack began around September 8-9.

While prosecutors did not disclose the exact type of attack, a source confirmed to Nezavisne that it was a ransomware attack. Bosnia and Herzegovina’s “Sarajevo Times” reported that the main server of the country’s parliament was shut down immediately after the attack.

A parliamentary spokesman told the news outlet that “users do not have access to the server and email and the official website are currently down.”

Several MPs also mentioned that they received notices not to use their computers, citing concerns that ransomware could spread to their personal devices.

Miletić was critical of the work of government cybersecurity experts, stressing that “nobody cared about security at all” prior to the attack.

“They would have had plenty of time to procure the necessary technology to add extra protection to the servers. They should know that cybersecurity is about investment, and there is no security without equipment. These technologies are expensive, but we have to buy them. Get it up and use it. Not just parliament, but other institutions that process and store all kinds of data should learn from this.”

Another lawmaker, Dušanka Majkić, also expressed concern about the data on government computers, noting that she even had documents from 2004 on her own device.

Political turmoil is more prone to cyberattacks, with multiple cases this year

Bosnia and Herzegovina is currently in the midst of political turmoil as the split in the Republika Srpska escalates. If rumors of a ransomware attack are confirmed, it will be another example of ransomware gangs using political turmoil as a cover to launch attacks this year.

The now-disbanded Conti ransomware gang had previously launched a devastating attack on Costa Rica in what the new president said was an attempt to “threaten the stability of the country during a transitional period”.

Three weeks ago, a ransomware attack took advantage of the fact that the Montenegrin government was effectively removed from office in a vote of no confidence.

In recent years, parliaments around the world have become victims of ransomware gangs and hacker attacks. Just last week, the Argentine parliament in the capital suffered a ransomware attack that compromised the agency’s internal operating system and WiFi network.

Cyberattacks became a big topic as the Internet increased in popularity, and many businesses and organizations suffered as a result. As a result, good corporate data security has become increasingly important. Virtual machine backup is the most widely used data protection solution in enterprises today. Common virtual machine backup systems include VMware Backup, oVirt Backup, and Xenserver Backup.

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Afnan Tarar

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