Albania has accused Iran of a new cyberattack that hit computer systems used by state police on Friday.
Albania has accused the Tehran government of a new cyberattack that hit computer systems used by state police on Saturday.
“The National Police’s computer systems were hit on Friday by a cyberattack which, according to initial information, was carried out by the same actors who attacked the country’s public services and government systems in July,” reads a report. press release from the Albanian Ministry of the Interior.
“In order to neutralize the criminal act and to secure the systems”, the authorities have closed the computer control systems in the seaports, airports and border crossings, the statement added.
Prime Minister Edi Rama confirmed the attribution of this new cyberattack to the same Iranian threat actor who launched the attack in July against Albania.
“Another cyberattack by the same attackers, already denounced and condemned by countries friends and allies of Albania, was recorded yesterday evening on the TIMS system! In the meantime, we continue to work around the clock with our allies to make our digital systems impenetrable. said Edi Rama.
Albania’s prime minister last week announced that Albania had severed diplomatic ties with Iran and expelled embassy staff from the country following the massive cyberattack that hit the country in mid-July.
The cyberattack hit the servers of the National Agency for Information Society (AKSHI), which runs many government services. Most desktop services for the population were interrupted, and only a few important services, such as online tax filing, were working because they are provided by servers not targeted by the attack. Albania reported the attack to NATO member states and other allies.
According to a statement issued by the government, the damage can be considered minimal compared to the objectives of the threat actors. The country’s embassy staff were asked to leave Albany within 24 hours.
Relations between Albania and Iran have deteriorated since the government in Tirana offered asylum to thousands of Iranian dissidents.
The United States government issued a statement condemning Iran for attacking Albania.
“The United States strongly condemns Iran’s cyber attack on our NATO ally Albania. We join Prime Minister Rama’s call for Iran to be held accountable for this unprecedented cyber incident. The United States will take additional steps to hold Iran accountable for actions that threaten the security of a U.S. ally and set a troubling precedent for cyberspace. United States National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said. “We have concluded that the Iranian government carried out this reckless and reckless cyberattack and is responsible for the hacking and leaking operations that followed.”
NATO and the UK have also officially blamed the Iranian government for the cyberattacks on Albania.
The US Treasury Department has announced sanctions against Iran’s Intelligence and Security Ministry (MOIS) and its intelligence minister following the cyberattack that hit Albania in July.
MOIS is the main intelligence agency of the Islamic Republic of Iran and a member of the Iranian intelligence community. It is also known as VAJA and previously as VEVAK (Vezarat-e Ettela’at va Amniyat-e Keshvar) or even MONTH.
The Iranian government denied being behind the cyberattack and called Albania’s decision to sever diplomatic ties “a reckless and short-sighted action”.
“Iran, as one of the target countries of cyberattacks against its critical infrastructure, rejects and condemns any use of cyberspace as a tool to attack critical infrastructure of other countries,” the Iranian Foreign Ministry said.
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(Security cases – hacking, Albania)