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US-Funded Cyber Defense Center Opens in Bulgaria

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Bulgaria has established a Cyber Defense Center with funding from the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Military Financing program.

The new facility, inaugurated on Thursday, is the latest contribution of the United States to the Balkan nation. In the last five years, Washington has provided more than $238 million in security assistance to help the European country increase its military and human resources capabilities, improve cybersecurity, and support equipment modernization, among other initiatives.

Through the center, Bulgarian military personnel can receive cyber defense training and education to increase their readiness in combating cyberattacks.

According to the International Trade Administration website, malicious cyber actors see Bulgaria as a key target for cybercrime because of its advanced internet infrastructure, high number of users and payment systems. It notes the country has research and development centers, software development hubs and shared centers that allow global companies to manage international operations.

Bulgaria boosted its efforts to strengthen its cyber defense last year. In its country commercial guide, ITA states that the country detected increasing cyberattack attempts against national institutions after Russia started its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

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