“Of course I'm worried. I think it's an issue that everyone should be concerned about. But, obviously, it is a matter that is being dealt with both at the level of the intelligence services and at the level of the police and, therefore, we are going to let them work”, stated Francisca Van Dunem.

“If you ask me if the country is prepared, I say that the country is prepared as far as possible, but I also tell them that there is no country, no institution that is completely immune to these attacks,” she added.

As an example, the Minister of Justice pointed to the Pentagon, which “has also been attacked” in December 2020.

“To say that the country is completely immune, we cannot say that. What we can say is that all conditions are in place for the country to be able to defend itself in the event of an attack,” she said.

In this sense, she recalled that “a diploma was approved very recently, at the end of last year, which is precisely related to the protection, namely, of critical infrastructures and communications”.

“This diploma will now have to be implemented with specific commissions both for the assessment and for the monitoring of risks in terms of communications and critical infrastructures”, she acknowledged.

Francisca Van Dunem stressed that “the country knows the moment it is going through, it knows the risks of the moment it is going through and, obviously, it has created the mechanisms to face them”.

Asked about a general feeling of insecurity, given the cyberattacks in recent days in Portugal, the minister admitted that she “would like this feeling not to be generated”.

Noting that she was recently in a meeting with the Minister of Justice of the European Union”, Francisca Van Dunem said that one of the major concerns that exists today, both at European and international levels “is precisely the issue of cybercrime”.

According to the official, “cybercrime had already been growing even before the pandemic, but has worsened in the pandemic context”, by generating “conditions for the increase in cybercrime”.