Albanian Parliament & Telecoms Operator Attacked

The Assembly of the Republic of Albania and the national telecom company One Albania were targeted by cyber attacks, the country's National Authority for Electronic Certification and Cyber Security (AKCESK) has  revealed.

Hackers took advantage of the Christmas recess to attempt infiltration of the Parliament’s data system, knocking services offline. Investigators are still working to discover what consequences the attack may  have had. 

"These infrastructures, under the legislation in force, are not currently classified as critical or important information infrastructure," AKCESK said in a statement.

On Christmas Day, the telecoms One Albania, part of the Deutsche Telecom / T-Mobile group, with  1.5 million subscribers, announced that it had handled the security incident without any issues and that its services, including mobile, landline, and IPTV, were unaffected.

AKCESK also said that the intrusions did not originate from Albanian IP addresses, adding it managed to "identify potential cases in real-time."

The agency also said that it has been focusing its efforts on identifying the source of the attacks, recovering compromised systems, and implementing security measures to prevent such incidents from happening again in the future. Furthermore, AKCESK said the incident has prompted it to review and strengthen its cybersecurity strategies.

The exact scale and scope of the attacks are currently not known, but an Iranian hacker group called Homeland Justice claimed responsibility on its Telegram channel, in addition to stating that it had breached flag carrier airline Air Albania.  In a message on December 24, the group said it is "back to destroy supporters of terrorists." The hackers have since been publishing a series of official documents, which include emails between departments, e-mail of the Prime Minister, or exchange of information with Albanian diplomatic headquarters abroad. 

The development comes more than a year after Albanian government services were targeted by destructive cyber attacks in 2022. This development subsequently prompted the US government to sanction Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and its Minister of Intelligence, for engaging in 'cyber-enabled activities' against the US and its allies.

CESK.Gov:   Homeland Justice:   News24:    Facebook:    Hacker News:    CIO:    Albainain Post:   The Record:   

Image: Pixabay

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