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ALGARSAFE’23 Group Presentation on “Risk Communication and Awareness” for the Foreign Community


Saturday 20th May 2023 1200 to 13.00 hrs Portimão Arena and the Fairs and Exhibitions Park

This will be a unique opportunity to hear in English from the experts about risk communication and interpretation of warning and alert systems.

Between May 18th and 20th, the Portimão Arena and the Fairs and Exhibitions Park will host ALGARSAFE´23 – Portimão International Civil Protection and Relief Fair, in an initiative co-organized by the Portimão City Council and the Bombeiros de Portimão,, with the support from the National Authority for Emergency and Civil Protection, also counting on institutional partners of national reference, such as the National School of Firefighters, the National Institute of Medical Emergency, the Authority for Working Conditions and Safe Communities Portugal, among others.

Considered the largest fair of its kind in the south of the Tagus, ALGARSAFE´23 will be attended by over 65 public and private entities, including providers and suppliers of goods and services in the area of security and civil protection, as well as Civil Protection Agents and cooperating entities of the Integrated Protection and Rescue Operations System at national level.

A unique opportunity to visit a space dedicated “body and soul” to emergency, civil protection and security.

A commercial space for those looking for the best solutions and equipment, with thematic, pedagogical and discussion forums on current issues, training for those responsible for protecting, saving or even preventing, unprecedented moments to understand the functioning of the Civil Protection System in Portugal, as well as actions aimed at those who want to learn to be more aware and prepared in their self-protection.

An event aimed equally at families, with playful moments where children can even trigger the sirens of vehicles!

On Saturday 20th May from 12.00 13:00 hrs there will be group presentation with questions and answers on “Risk Communication for Foreign Communities” facilitated by Safe Communities Portugal.

Synopsis: Session will be delivered in English, involving the different players in risk communication and interpretation of warning and alert systems, with the participation of:

Republican National Guard,

Institute of Nature Conservation and Forestry,

National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority and the

Municipality of Civil Protection of Portimão.

This is open to the general public and all are welcome to attend.

*Registration at the ALGARSAFE’23 secretariat (desk) on the day or by email: Free registration, limited to the number of places available.

ALGARSAFE’23: Organisation Portimão City Council and the Bombeiros de Portimão

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ERC wants to hold platforms accountable for misinformation and harmful effects on social media


Lisbon, 22 Apr 2023 (Lusa) – The member of the ERC Regulatory Board João Pedro Figueiredo defended today that social networks and service providers should be held responsible for misinformation and the effects of the circulation of false information on their platforms.

“In the elaboration of the laws of the different sectors (…) specific and clear realities could be foreseen for all the actors in this sector, and first of all in the service providers”, he said in his opening speech at the sixth edition of the Literacia, Media Congress and Citizenship, which runs until today in Lisbon.

“When we are talking about media literacy, we are not just talking about media, we are talking about information, and much of what goes on the internet and much of the misinformation and harmful effects associated with the circulation of information does not come from the media., they don’t come from the media, they come from social networks”, added the member of the Regulatory Entity for Social Communication.

João Pedro Figueiredo underlined that social networks “are not currently regulated by regulators”, but that this should happen.

“It is necessary to make service providers and platforms accountable,” he insisted.

However, he underlined that this will also require resources – human and financial – for its operation, difficulties that the regulator has faced in recent years.

The ERC member was speaking during the second of two days of the sixth edition of the Literacy, Media and Citizenship Congress, which takes place at the Escola Superior de Comunicação Social of the Polytechnic Institute of Lisbon, in Benfica, and whose motto was chosen by GILM – Grupo Informal sobre a Literacia for the Media is “Digital Transition and Public Policy”.

In the panel ‘Media Literacy: Challenges for Public Policies’, moderated by Pedro Braumann, there were also the Minister of Education, João Costa, the commissioner of the National Reading Plan, Regina Duarte, and the information director of Lusa, Luísa Meireles .

During the nearly two hours of debate, literacy and the new National Plan for Media Literacy, which the Minister of Culture, Pedro Adão e Silva said on Friday, will be created by the end of the first semester, were elements- key.

Regina Duarte pointed out that media literacy – and all other forms – could receive contributions from the National Reading Plan, since they are inseparable from reading skills.

Thus, he referred to the results of the PISA tests – International Student Assessment Program, benchmarking tests and national exams, which show that students in Portugal “have a lot of difficulty with more complex reading skills”.

“Our students are able to understand explicit information in the text, information that is easily located, which is on the surface of the text”, but “when it comes to making inferences, even direct ones, they are no longer able to and fail in reading skills that have to do with information evaluation, with comparison, with interpretation”, pointed out the PNL commissioner.

“If our students leave school without being able to assess information, without being able to interpret, without being able to analyse information, they won’t necessarily have media literacy skills, but they won’t have others either”, warned Regina Duarte.

The Minister of Education noted that “difficulties in extensive reading were detected and that students gave up at the first reading difficulty”.

“We transpose this to the relationship with the media and what does that mean? It means a great vulnerability to manipulation, because we cannot distinguish what is factual from what is opinionated”, he added, referring to the practice of “reading only the title and not reading extensively”.

João Costa added that the curriculum reform that began in 2016 and 2017 included “dimensions such as critical thinking, creative thinking, problem solving, autonomy and the responsibility associated with this autonomy” as essential skills to be developed throughout of schooling.

In this sense, he referred that media literacy is something that can be achieved with work developed in all curricular areas and went back to the covid-19 pandemic.

“If we think about the area of ​​science and what the rain of madness on social networks was at the time of the pandemic, it is enough to have knowledge of science to realize that a virus cannot be killed with bleach, that masks do not go beyond I don’t know what from 5G and things of that nature, just to name the craziest examples”, he said, adding that this involves scientific knowledge and the development of skills in the disciplines of Portuguese, history and philosophy.

The panel members considered that the lack of media literacy could be a contributing factor to a proliferation of misinformation, with Luísa Meireles adding another variable: the lack of local media.

“According to the Media Trust Lab, which is a project of the University of Beira Interior, 53.9%, that is, 54% of the 308 Portuguese municipalities are in a situation of total news desert. This means that they do not have any media of their own that produces news or [are] in a fragile situation”, he said.

“If we think about it, this is our reality, and it is a reality conducive to misinformation”, pointed out Lusa’s director of information.



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Construction of Thermal Tunnel to study behaviour of large fires


Porto, Apr 23, 2023 (Lusa) – The specialist who studied the fires of 2017, Domingos Xavier Viegas, warned today that, despite the occurrence of large fires being more “probable” in the Centre and North regions of Portugal, these phenomena can happen “everywhere”.

“Our experience shows that they can occur practically everywhere. In the regions of Central and Northern Portugal, where the topography is more complex and the vegetation is more prone to fires, it is more likely, but we have already seen large fires in regions where, at the outset, it was not expected”, warned the researcher from the Coimbra University.

Recognizing that the country has learned some lessons from the fires of 2017, in which 114 people died, the specialist who was part of the Independent Technical Observatory and coordinated the studies requested by the Government on those fires considers, however, that it has not been “enough”, guessing “a long way to go”.

“From a scientific point of view, studying them and understanding them is better. Then, of course, preparing the operational community to face it – above all to do it safely – and, finally, to prevent and sensitize the population to, in its occurrence, avoid panic situations and last-minute escape attempts, as happened in Pedrógão Grande that caused loss of life”, he said

Four months later, on October 15, already after the so-called critical fire season, the worst day of the year in terms of the number of fires was recorded, with more than 500, with the flames reaching 27 municipalities in the Centre region in particular and causing 51 deaths. . In this case, more than a third of the fatal victims died at home, with many of them having been caught by fire while they were sleeping.

In an effort to better understand phenomena such as what happened in Pedrógão Grande, the Centre for Studies on Forest Fires (CEIF) at the University of Coimbra (UC) is building a thermal tunnel, whose assembly, said its coordinator, Xavier Viegas, is in advanced stage.

“We hope to run tests later this month. We are very hopeful that it will be equipment that will allow the study of processes [namely large fires] that are still poorly understood by the scientific community and also by the operational community exactly about the role of the vertical stability of the atmosphere in the propagation of fire”, he explained.

It is the conviction of the UC researcher that the importance given to the role played by the atmosphere is “exaggerated”, insofar as – mainly in large fires – there is sometimes the “development of a very strong convection – produced by the fire – and that, eventually, if there is an unstable atmosphere, it can potentiate it”.

With this equipment, the forest fire specialist hopes not only to understand fundamental aspects of fire behaviour, but also to contribute to the training of firefighters and civil protection agents to fight major fires, such as the one that broke out last year in Parque Natural from Serra da Estrela and spread between the 5th and the 23rd of August.

Classified as the 6th largest to occur in Portugal, since there are records, the fire reached 22 parishes, six municipalities, having consumed a total of 22 hectares in the Natural Park of Serra da Estrela.

In that fire, which “fortunately” did not have the proportions observed in Pedrógão, as in others that occurred last year, explains Xavier Viegas, it was possible to identify “situations of fronts meeting that produced a very large acceleration”, as is an example, from the fire in July 2022, in Murça, where a man and a woman, aged around 70, died when they tried to flee the fire by car.

“The accident was preceded by a meeting of two fire fronts which led to the fire spreading very quickly. In Serra da Estrela the same thing”, he indicated, stressing that “interaction with the atmosphere does not always play a fundamental role”, as happened in Pedrógão, where the thunderstorm influenced the behaviour of the fire.



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More than 7 thousand hectares have burned in Portugal since the beginning of the year


In the first 11 days of April, 43 hectares more burned than in the entire same month in 2022. The most frequent causes of fires in 2023 so far are burns.

Portugal has already recorded more than 7,000 hectares (ha) of burned area due to forest fires in 2023, according to provisional data from the Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests (ICNF) released this Thursday.

ICNF data are recorded from January 1 to last Tuesday and indicate that, out of a total of 1,971 rural fires, 7,366 ha of burned area resulted, including settlements (1,826 ha), bushes (5,454 ha) and agriculture (86 ha).

Comparing this year’s figures with those of the last 10 years, the ICNF points out that more than 12% of rural fires and more than 48% of burned area were recorded in relation to the annual average for the period.

“The year 2023 presents, until April 11, the 5th highest value in number of fires and the 5th highest value of burned area since 2013”, reads in the report.

In just 11 days in April, 43 ha more burned than in the entire same month last year.

In April of this year, until last Tuesday, 1,208 ha were burned, while in the same month – in 30 days – for the last year, 1,165 ha of burned area were registered.

Removing April from the equation, in the first three months of the year, 6,158 ha of burned areas were counted, 1,986 ha less than those verified in 2022 in the same period.

The ICNF explains that 73% of all rural fires that have occurred so far in 2023 are small, with a burned area of ​​less than 1 ha.

So far, February is the month with the highest number of rural fires, with a total of 1,025 fires, corresponding to 52% of the total number recorded in the year.

February is also the month with the largest burned area, with a total of 5,200 ha burned, which is equivalent to 71% of the total burned area in 2023.

Regarding the larger fires, the body that ensures the implementation of policies for the conservation of nature and forests found 13 fires with a burned area of ​​between 100 and 1,000 ha.

“Until April 11, 2023, there were 12 fires falling under this category, which resulted in 1,898 hectares of burned area, about 26% of the total burned area”, he highlights.

Of the total of 1,971 rural fires that occurred this year, 1,264 were investigated and have the cause investigation process completed – 64% of the total number of fires responsible for 79% of the total burned area.

According to the ICNF, the most frequent causes of fires in 2023 are burning for pasture management for cattle (30%) and burning of forest or agricultural remnants (28%).

“Together, the various types of fires and burns represent 79% of the total causes determined. Rekindles represent 3% of the total number of causes investigated”, he underlines.

Analysing by district, the ICNF highlighted Porto (319), Braga (314) and Viana do Castelo as the ones with the highest number of fires, indicating that “they are mostly small in size”, not exceeding one hectare of burned area.

In relation to the district of Porto, the percentage of fires with less than one hectare of burned area is 87%.

With regard to the burned area, the most affected district is Braga with 2,258 ha, about 31% of the total burned area, followed by Vila Real with 1,702 hectares (23% of the total) and Viana do Castelo with 1,361 hectares (18% of the total).

Examining the meteorological severity, the ICNF reached a total value of “weighted burned area” this year of 4,618 ha, translating the “total burned area that would be obtained if all fires followed the historical average ‘behaviour’ in view of the meteorological severity of the day /place where they occurred”.

The real burned area value of 7,366 ha corresponds to 160% of the “weighted burned area”, which means that the burned area this year is “considerably higher than the ‘expected’ burned area taking into account the meteorological severity verified”.



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Porto, Braga, Aveiro, Vila Real and Lisbon – Criminal Marketing network dismantled nearly 2.5 million cigarettes seized.


Between February 28th and March 6th, the Fiscal Action Unit (UAF) dismantled a criminal network dedicated to the illicit distribution and sale of tobacco and seized more than 2,450,948 cigarettes in the districts of Porto, Braga, Aveiro, Vila Real and Lisbon.

As part of an investigation into a criminal network dedicated to the illicit distribution and sale of tobacco, which had been going on for about a year and which had the collaboration of the Guardia Civil of Spain and the operational support of EUROPOL, the Guard carried out steps that made it possible to determine that the highly organized group is responsible for evading taxes, in terms of Special Consumption Tax (IEC) and VAT, which will exceed 3.5 million euros.

The Guard’s military found that cigarettes and other tobacco products, originating from marginal smuggling circuits with branches in Spain, were transported to national territory and temporarily stored in places, being later sold directly to consumers or distributed in commercial establishments and restaurants in the districts of Porto, Braga, Aveiro, Vila Real and Lisbon.

The culmination of this investigation, which focused on the crimes of fraudulent introduction into qualified consumption, tax fraud, criminal association and counterfeiting, imitation and illegal use of trademarks, took place over the last week through the execution of 68 search warrants, 37 domicile and 31 non-domestic warrants, namely in vehicles, commercial establishments and catering and beverage establishments and warehouses.

Following the action, four suspects aged between 53 and 65 years, were arrested and the constitution of 12 defendants aged between 52 and 69 years.

The following seizures were made:

  • 2,450,948 cigarettes, corresponding to approximately 122,548 packs of cigarettes; 107,694 kilos of shredded tobacco; 92,300 tubes for filling cigarettes;
  • 45,115 euros in cash;
  • 25 mobile phones; Nine light vehicles; Two firearms; Various ammunition of different calibres; Diverse explosive material (detonating cord, gunpowder, detonators, explosive charges and other material used in pyrotechnic activity) and documentation with probative relevance to the investigation.

The detainees were present for the first judicial interrogation, at the Central Department of Investigation and Penal Action (DCIAP) in Lisbon, having been applied the coercive measures of obligation of biweekly presentations at the police station in the area of residence and prohibition of contacts with the targeted in the investigation, and one of the suspects was also banned from leaving the country.

During the investigation, which has been going on for about a year, a total of 6,520,522 cigarettes and 399 Kg of tobacco leaf and ground tobacco had already been seized in the national territory, and 3 men, aged between 55 and 64 years old, with 2 of them being applied, in November 2022, the coercive measure of pre-trial detention.

During the operation, 126 soldiers belonging to the Fiscal Action Unit (UAF), the Intervention Unit (UI) and the Territorial Commands of Porto, Braga and Vila Real were engaged, including dog units to detect tobacco and paper money.

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Nearly 10,000 crimes, 17 arrests and 18,690 administrative offenses issued for abandonment and mistreatment of animals in five years


Lisbon, Jan 31, 2023 (Lusa) – The police have arrested 17 people for abandoning or mistreating pets and have registered almost 10,000 crimes in the last five years, together with 18,690 administrative offences issues reveals data sent to Lusa by the PSP and GNR.

The 17 arrests were made, between 2018 and 2022, by the Public Security Police, which arrested 15 people for mistreatment and two for abandoning pets.

The year with the most arrests for mistreatment of companion animals was 2021, when there were six, followed by 2019 and 2022, with four each, and in 2018 one person was arrested.

The PSP indicates that the arrests for abandoning animals were made in 2019 and 2020, with one in each year.

Data sent to the Lusa agency indicate that the PSP and the National Republican Guard recorded 9,732 crimes for abandonment or mistreatment of animals between 2018 and 2022.

The PSP also reports that, in five years, it recorded 1,615 crimes of animal abandonment and 2,278 for situations of mistreatment, in a total of 4,402.

While the GNR accounted for 5,330 crimes, 3,385 of which were for mistreatment of animals and 1,945 for abandonment, with this type of crime recorded in 2022 the highest value in the last five years.

The GNR recorded 1,195 crimes for abandonment and mistreatment of pets last year, 1,008 in 2021, 1,030 in 2020, 1,089 in 2019, and 1,008 in 2018.

The PSP, on the other hand, registered a decrease in 2020 and 2021 due to the covid-19 pandemic, having increased again in 2022. Last year, the PSP counted 865 crimes, in 2021 there were 833, in 2020 there were 801, in 2019 there were 952 and in 2018 there were 951.

The GNR also reports that it raised 18,690 administrative offenses for this offense in the last five years, with the highest number in 2018 (5,393), followed by 2019 (5,107), 2022 (3,357), 2020 (2,587) and 2021 (2,246).

This security force refers that the crimes of mistreatment are provided for in the Penal Code and the facts are communicated to the Public Ministry and the offenders identified.

According to the GNR, dogs are the animals that register the highest incidence of abuse and abandonment and generally the collected animals are delivered to the official collection centers (CRO) under municipal or intermunicipal management, and are also delivered, on certain occasions, to other associations.

The GNR also receives complaints, which can be made through the SOS Ambiente e Território line 808 200 520, (Serviços/SOS Ambiente) or by email , having registered 20,823 complaints between 2018 and 2022 , after increasing every year.

The PSP also has an Animal Defence Line ( ) to receive complaints, having registered 12,175 complaints in the last five years, in a growing trend. This line received 2,149 complaints in 2018, 2,278 in 2019, 2,362 in 2020, 2,462 in 2021 and 2,924 last year.

The PSP states that these complaints include not only criminal situations of abandonment and mistreatment, but all occurrences related to the welfare of the animal and suspicious situations that subsequently require inspection and investigation by the police.

The most common complaints that reach the PSP through this line are complaints from neighbours about the dogs that are barking on the balcony, the patio that is dirty and has an unpleasant odour, the owners who are absent without leaving water or food for the animals, walking the dog without a leash and the aggressiveness of animals.

Mistreatment of companion animals has been a crime since 2014 and several people have already been convicted in the first instance.

However, the Constitutional Court has already annulled these convictions on the grounds that they lack constitutional coverage.

Recently, the Public Prosecutor’s Office at the Constitutional Court asked for the declaration of unconstitutionality of the norm that criminalizes with a fine or imprisonment anyone who, without legitimate reason, kills or mistreats pets.










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GOOD WORK FROM THE SPMS (Shared Services of the Ministry of Health) USING SMS for VACCINATION SCHEDULING

More than 78 million messages (SMS), exclusively scheduling for vaccination of users eligible for vaccination against covid-19, have been sent in the last two years, the Ministry of Health indicated this Sunday.

In a statement, the Shared Services of the Ministry of Health (SPMS) recall that the first call for the covid-19 vaccine, through messages (SMS) from number 2424, was sent on January 29, 2021.

“In these two years, more than 78 million SMS, exclusively for scheduling, were sent to users eligible for vaccination at each stage of the process,” say SPMS, stressing that the SMS call represented “a great technological advance”.

In the most critical period of the pandemic, the scheduling functionality was being progressively made available to the health units of the country, making the SMS number 2424 the preferred form of call for vaccination.

“For scheduling, the contacts used are those contained in the National Register of Users (RNU) of the National Health Service, which provides centralized information to all information systems,” the SPMS also explained.

According to the SPMS, in addition to scheduling, other messages related to the covid-19 vaccination process have been sent over the last two years, translating into about 111 million SMS.

“Currently, it is possible to carry out the self-scheduling of the vaccine through the SNS 24 Portal, giving the possibility of choosing the most convenient day and place,” explains the SPMS.

The experience of vaccination – emphasizes the SPMS – showed how “a simple and democratic system, such as SMS, can be highly effective in convening users”.

For this same reason, this system has meanwhile been extended to the call for other acts, such as screenings, allowing greater speed in contact with the population, the entity concludes.

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The Directorate-General for Health (DGS) reported on Saturday that its ‘site’ was the target of a cyberattack that prevented access to data and services, but at 11:00 p.m. “it was functional”.

“The Directorate-General for Health informs that its official website – – was the target of a cyberattack that prevented access to the data and services usually available,” reads a note from the DGS.

In the same note, sent Saturday night, the DGS indicated that the ‘site’ was already operational.

The Directorate-General for Health also said that it “contacted the National Cybersecurity Center, which is evaluating and monitoring the situation, in order to take measures to mitigate the impact of this attack”.

This information, adds the DGS, “will be updated whenever relevant”.

The Expresso newspaper also reported on Saturday that the Internet addresses of the DGS and the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Lisbon have been “unoperational since, at least, early Saturday afternoon, following an attack by a group of Russian cyberactivists”.

“In the counter and cyberespionage circuit there were indications that the Killnet group, which is usually pointed out as an operational and propagandistic arm of the Russian government in the digital underworld, launched a challenge to a cyberattack of network congestion against medical institutions in several countries that have aligned with the Ukrainian position – including Portugal,” the newspaper wrote.

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Police arrest three men for house thefts in Eastern Algarve

As a result of a joint operation, the GNR and PSP have arrested three men for thefts in residences in the eastern Algarve.

The men, aged 27, 38 and 42, had committed thefts in homes in the region, in an organized manner, taking advantage of the owners being out during the evening.

“During an investigation into qualified thefts inside homes, which began in January 2022 by the Criminal Investigation Brigade of the PSP in Tavira, a joint police operation was carried out aimed at dismantling a group of individuals who acted as an organised crime group with the objective of carrying out thefts in residences, in the eastern Algarve area, in houses located in the bordering areas of urban agglomerations, taking advantage of the temporary absence of the owners at the end of the day and the beginning of the night”, explain the GNR and PSP in a statement.

“Since the PSP and the GNR were investigating several cases of theft in which there were strong indications that they had been carried out by the same group, joint investigations were launched that allowed the suspects to be arrested after having committed the theft to a house in the Quarteira area”, added the security forces.

Following the action, four searches were carried out, two at home and two in vehicles in the municipality of Faro and in the city of Olhão, which made it possible to recover various stolen material, namely large sums of money, pieces of gold and other precious metals, as well as various objects recovered from the interior of the criminals homes.


Taking into account the high volume of material seized, namely watches and pieces of jewellery (rings, earrings, medals, necklaces, among others) in gold and other metals and precious stones, the authorities ask “all citizens with residences in the Algarve who have been the target of house theft (with similar items stolen) and WHO DID NOT MAKE A CRIME COMPLAINT AT THE TIME, to go to the PSP in Faro (see picture) Rua da Policia da Seguranca Publica 32, 8000-408 Faro to report the crime, with the aim to recover stolen objects that are now seized”.

If not sure/further details call PSP Command Faro– 289 899 899.

Source; GNR/PSP Press release


Excellent work and collaboration between the GNR and PSP.

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Judicial Police dismantle operations of the HIVE Ransomware group.

The National Unit to Combat Cybercrime and Technological Crime (UNC3T) participated in the operation carried out against the HIVE ransomware group, which culminated today in the dismantling of the operations of this criminal group.

The investigations, which lasted several months, were carried out by various international partners, with the PJ/UNC3T hosting one of the operational work sessions that lasted a week, which was attended by more than 30 police officers from 13 countries (Germany, Canada, Spain, United States of America, France, Ireland, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, United Kingdom, Romania and Sweden) involved in the operation.

The group responsible for the HIVE ransomware was one of the most relevant cybercriminal groups worldwide, being suspected of having attacked Portuguese entities as diverse as hospital units, laboratory analysis companies, municipalities, transport/aviation companies, hotel units, technology companies, among others.

This group, after encrypting the victims’ data, demanded a ransom so that the data and information would not be published on the HIVE group’s website, hosted on the Dark Web.