Bulgaria’s Health Minister: Hacker attacks on vaccination registration site continuing

Hacker attacks on the online registration system for vaccinations against Covid-19 are continuing, Bulgaria’s Health Minister Kostadin Angelov said on March 7.

As The Sofia Globe reported on Thursday, the online system went live just after 5pm on March 4.

Angelov said that so far, more than 60 000 people had registered to be vaccinated via the portal.

The portal came under attack on Friday morning, but the attempt was defeated by a team from Informatsionno Obsluzhvane, the state-owned IT company that developed the system, Angelov said on March 5.

A March 7 Health Ministry media statement quoted him as saying that the attacks were continuing.

“I can’t figure out what the idea is. Obviously someone wants us to fail, but that won’t happen,” he said.

An Informatsionno Obsluzhvane team is continuing to monitor the site around the clock.

Many of the slots set aside for the next two weeks have been taken.

On the Health Ministry’s Facebook page, some members of the public complained that the site was not accepting their data when they attempted to register. According to reports in the Bulgarian media on March 6, this could be a side-effect of security safeguards intended to prevent malicious attempts to steal people’s data.

More than 20 000 doses of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine against Covid-19 are expected to arrive in Bulgaria on March 8, and current plans are to re-open “green corridors” for vaccines for all comers on March 10.

Angelov said that he would meet the heads of the regional health inspectorates to discuss the introduction of different measures in different areas. He said that there was no need to introduce additional anti-epidemic measures that apply to the whole country.

He said that every 12 hours, the health authorities analyse the indicators regarding the spread of new coronavirus in Bulgaria, including at regional level.

In districts such as Varna and Veliko Turnovo, the incidence of morbidity was below 200 per 100 000 population, but there were districts where it was above 400. For this reason, measures should be applied locally, Angelov said.

He expressed satisfaction with the vaccination campaign, saying that if the current pace was maintained, by the end of summer Bulgaria would achieve 70 per cent vaccine coverage.

Asked by a reporter for his opinion how the state had coped with the Covid-19 crisis – March 8 is the anniversary of the first registered case in Bulgaria – Angelov said: “When you are within a crisis, when you are burning with problems, you cannot judge whether the decisions you make are right for everyone.

“I will take stock when we overcome the pandemic,” he said.

(Photo: Jakub Krechowicz/sxc.hu)

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