Bulgaria May Build Cyber Security Center After Website Attacks

  • Attacks targeted Bulgarian infrastructure, banks, airports
  • New center will monitor threats, coordinate cyber defense

Bulgaria plans to set up a cyber security center to strengthen its defense capability after state institutions’ websites were hacked, blocking digital services and causing data leaks.

The communication systems of several Bulgarian state institutions were targeted in 2015, President Rosen Plevneliev told reporters in the capital Sofia after meeting Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, ministers and security experts to discuss counteraction to cyber crime.

“We have detected cyber attacks against Bulgarian banks, airports and other elements of our critical infrastructure,” he said.

The European Union’s poorest state in terms of per-capita output is seeking to expand its military capabilities spanning cyber security to fighter jets amid concerns of increasing threats from the Islamic State, following terrorist assaults in Paris and Brussels in the past 15 months. The attacks, which killed a total of 179 people, were orchestrated by radical Islamic forces operating in such war-torn countries as Syria.

Plevneliev sees cyber threats coming from international terrorist organizations, as well as from countries with totalitarian regimes and weak democracies. Widespread use of antiquated computer systems and pirate software make institutions more vulnerable to hacking, he said.

The new cyber security center will monitor for potential threats and will coordinate prevention and defense in case of cyber security crisis. The government needs to increase funding for the state security agency, defense and interior ministries among others, to get more cyber security equipment and experts, according to Plevneliev.

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