Albania was hit by a massive cyberattack over the weekend, the government confirmed on Monday. A synchronized criminal attack from abroad hit the servers of the National Agency for Information Society (AKSHI), which handles many government services.
“In order to withstand these unprecedented and dangerous strikes, we have been forced to close down government systems until the enemy attacks are neutralized,” the Albanian National Agency for the Information Society (AKSHI) said in a statement.
Government services were all down on Monday after the cyber attack.
“Albania is under a massive cybernetic attack that has never happened before. This criminal cyber-attack was synchronized… from outside Albania,” the Council of Ministers said in a press release. “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.”
Most of the desk services for the population were interrupted, and only several important services, such as online tax filing, are still working because they are provided by servers not targeted in the attack.
Sali Berisha, a former PM and opposition leader, was critical of the cyber posture of its government.
“How did it it happen that the government ordered almost all important services to go through this website?’ Berisha asked. “How can such initiatives be undertaken while no professional policing against cyber crime is yet in place?.”
The Microsoft Jones Group International team is helping AKSHI to mitigate the effect of the attack and restore operations.
In December Albania’s prime minister Edi Rama apologized for the massive leak of personal records from a government database of state.
Exposed records include the personal identity card numbers, employment and salary data of some 637,000 people.
In April 2021 a similar incident exposed identity card records from a state database ahead of Albania’s parliamentary elections.
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(SecurityAffairs – hacking, Albania)