Official: Cyber attack on Bulgarian government websites traced to Russia

The head of Bulgaria’s National Investigation Service, Borislav Sarafov, said on October 16 that the perpetrator of a cyber attack the previous day on several Bulgarian state, government and private websites had been identified, and the attack had come from a city in Russia.

Sarafov told Bulgarian media that the name and address of the perpetrator were known, and the attack had come from the city of Magnitogorsk.

The October 15 Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack targeted various Bulgarian government ministries’ websites, that of the Presidency, the National Revenue Agency, telecommunications companies, airports, banks and some media.

Bulgaria’s authorities have issued assurances that no information and data had been compromised.

“We will try to identify all those involved in this hacker attack and bring them to court in Bulgaria, if Russian judicial authorities respond and they are extradited. If not, we will try them in absentia,” Sarafov said.

Svetoslav Vassilev, head of the National Investigation Service’s cyber crimes department, said that the attack had been a standard DDoS one that many institutions were constantly subjected to.

On October 15, the Prosecutor’s Office said that it had told the State Agency for National Security, the Chief Directorate for Combating Organised Crime and the National Investigation Service’s cyber crimes department to investigate the attacks.

Bulgaria’s caretaker Defence Minister Dimitar Stoyanov appeared to link the attacks with claims in Russia of a Bulgarian connection to an explosion on a bridge linking Russia with Russian-occupied Crimea. No evidence has been offered for those claims and Bulgaria’s security services have said that they have found them to be baseless.

Stoyanov said that the Defence Ministry’s site had been attacked as part of a general attack on the websites of Bulgarian institutions.

“The cyber attack was well repelled and there was no damage,” he said.

“Bulgaria did not participate in the bombing of the Crimean bridge, as was proven by our services. Our country is not the weak link in Nato, as some have commented,” Stoyanov said.

Earlier in 2022, Bulgaria’s 47th National Assembly voted to provide “military-technical” assistance to Ukraine but did not agree to supplying weaponry. A draft decision on supplying weaponry to Ukraine is expected to be tabled in the newly-elected 48th National Assembly after it holds its first sitting on October 19.

Stoyanov said on October 16 that Bulgaria could not supply weaponry to Ukraine because it had no surplus to do so.

The caretaker government repeatedly has refused Ukraine’s requests for weaponry, citing the earlier decision by Parliament.

(Photo: Serkan ER/

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