Albanian Government Falls Victim To A Large-Scale Attack

The Albanian government has been hit with a “massive cyber-attack,” taking its websites offline and numerous services were made inaccessible. The government has blamed the incident on a synchronised “attack from abroad.” 

Several Albanian government websites were still offline at the weekend, including the national Parliament and Prime Minister’s office.

There has been no official comment on who was behind the attack, though some Albanian media outlets have blamed Russia. The government also emphasised that all citizens’ data stored on its website is “safe and intact.”

Although not part of the European Union it is a member of NATO and Albania has expressed firm national support for Ukraine and participates in Western sanctions on Russia. 

The attack caused the main servers of the National Agency for Information Society to go down only a few months after shifting most public sector services to an online portal. “Albania is under a massive cybernetic attack that has never happened before. This criminal cyber-attack was synchronised… from outside Albania,” the government said “In order to not allow this attack to damage our information system, the National Agency of Information Society had temporarily shut down online services and other government websites.”

The source of the attack has not been identified, although the government statement said the method used by the hackers was identical to previous attacks on EstoniaBelgium, Germany, Lithuania and Malta, as well as Ukraine

NetBlocks, which tracks Internet outages around the world, Tweeted that service was first cut on Saturday night 16th July, around 9 pm local time. It stated: “Confirmed: # Albania’s National Agency for Information Society (AKSHI) network has been temporarily shut down to counter a major cyberattack; real-time network data show service cut for hours beginning Saturday night, impacting online government services.”

The Albanian government said that it is working with experts from Microsoft and the US-based Jones Group International to solve the situation “and bring it back to normalcy.” 

EuronewsE&T:   Netblocks:  Infosecurity Magazine:   Balkan Insight:    Euractiv:   

Albanian Daily News:    The Print

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