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Albanian public institutions hit by cyber attack

The Albanian government has disclosed that it has been hit by a cyber attack, which has shut down its public institutions’ webpages.

user iconReporter
Tue, 19 Jul 2022
Albanian public institutions hit by cyber attack
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In a statement, the Albanian government announced that it experienced a "wide and complex" cyber attack which began on Friday, 15 July. Government infrastructure and system were isolated as the hackers attempted to "hit critical systems", aiming to make them functionless.

Early detection enabled the Albanian government's critical systems to close, with officials asserting "the [systems] are all backed-up and safe", according to the statement.

Albanian authorities are now working towards a return "back to normalcy" by collaborating with Microsoft and Jones Group International, a strategic national security specialist based in the US.

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According to AP, the Albanian Interior Ministry stated that government services will be available temporarily in person at police stations and civic offices.

The Albanian government also stated that the "method used by the hackers was identical with the last year's attacks seen in the international cyber space", pointing to cyber attacks that were aimed at Ukraine, Germany, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands and Belgium.

According to NetBlocks, a global internet monitor, "real-time network data showed that service was completely cut on Saturday, around 9:00pm local time", which "impacted online government services".

The company, which describes itself as an "independent and non-partisan digital rights, cyber security and internet governance", tracks online activity worldwide in real-time.

"Metrics tend to support the Prime Minister's Office statement that describes this as a defensive measure to protect AKSHI against a targeted threat, rather than a direct impact of the kind we might see in a distributed denial of service attack," Alp Toker, NetBlocks director, said.

"Several government services including Parliament, the Prime Minister's Office, and e-government gateway used by businesses and citizens are hosted on the government network and have been sent offline," Toker added.

As of Monday this week, all Albanian government websites were still down, according to AP.

In the past two years, Albania has been a temporary member of the UN Security Council and a NATO member since 2009.

Albania is expecting to engage in full membership negotiations with the European Union.

[Related: Aussie TikTok users’ private data accessible to China-based staff]

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