Albania believes that the cyber attack that has paralyzed government websites since last Friday (15 July) was coordinated by another country, according to Prime Minister Edi Rama.
“This attack was not carried out by ordinary hackers, nor by groups of people of the dark web…This aggression was organized by another state. We do not yet have all the evidence to determine which of the two countries that we strongly suspect [ordered the attack]. This is the most delicate part of the investigation,” he told media during a press conference.
The Prime Minister also slammed Albanian media and portals for spreading disinformation about the attack, refuting claims that hackers had demanded €30 million from the Albanian government.
On Sunday (17 July), the Albanian National Agency for Information Society was forced to shut down online public services and government websites because of a sophisticated and synchronized cyber attack.
The Albanian government has confirmed on several occasions that all information systems are backed up and secure, and the majority are now back online. This does not apply to Albanians attempting to use online services from abroad which will be restored at a later date.
The shut down affected the websites of Parliament and the Prime Minister’s Office, as well as e-Albania—the government portal that all Albanians, as well as foreign residents and investors, have to use to use a slew of public services.
The Ministry of Education had to pause online registration for school children, while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was force to halt all online services at its consulates abroad.
As of 1 May, e-Albania has taken on the role of many institutional counter services from across the country. Matters such as residency, tax, and business activities can now, in theory, all be carried out via the portal.
Albania has been rocked by a number of data protection and privacy scandals in the last 18 months, including leaks from government institutions that have seen the names, phone numbers, car registration plates, employers, salaries, and more, in the public realm.
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