The websites of the federal government of Albania were taken offline by a “massive cyber-attack.”
The federal government claimed that the tragedy was the result of a coordinated “strike from overseas” in a statement that was distributed to local information stores.
The press announcement continued: “To prevent this attack from destroying our data procedure, the National Company of Facts Culture briefly shut down online businesses and other governmental websites.”
Additionally, the government highlighted that any information about people that is maintained on its website is “secure and undamaged.”
It could not speculate as to who may have been responsible for the attack but did state that “the techniques used by these destructive actors are related to the attacks observed in international cyberspace last year.”
Many of Albania’s government websites, including those for its parliament and prime minister’s office, still appear to be down.
According to a tweet from NetBlocks, which monitors internet outages globally, the service was initially interrupted on Saturday night, at 9 pm local time. “Confirmed: # Albania’s National Company for Information Society (AKSHI) network has been temporarily taken down to counter a major cyberattack. Real-time network information display support will be reduced for hours starting Saturday night, affecting online governmental services,” it said.
The Albanian government has stated that it is collaborating with Microsoft experts and the US-based Jones Team Global to resolve the issue “and bring it back to normalcy.”
Media outlets in the area have speculated that Russia might be behind the attack, possibly in response to the EU’s recent initiation of membership negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia.
The large-scale cyberattack that brought down the electronic expert services of the Albanian government, according to Oliver Pinson-Roxburgh, CEO of Defense.com, “illustrates the tremendous stakes at play in our electronic and linked world.
It is remarkable for an autonomous group to be able to operate on this scale when we have seen independent hacking teams focusing on the IT infrastructure of governments in the past.
On the other hand, nation-state actors undoubtedly possess the capacity to target and disturb the digital operations of other nations.
A country-condition actor seems to be the most likely perpetrator for this attack because disruption appears to be the incident’s goal rather than financial success.
But according to Todd Carroll, CISO at CybelAngel, the Albanian government could be a seductive target for numerous threat actors: “Albania has a history of information security issues that are only made worse by the over-assortment of its citizen’s information, as opposed to individual’s international locations subject to EU expectations.
It is therefore not surprising that they are being attacked. You lose the ability to determine “how access was achieved” and “what was accessed or is presently being accessed” the instant you lose access to your information.
A public apology was made by Albania’s prime minister in December 2021 after it was claimed that the personal information of hundreds of millions of Albanian individuals had been stolen online.