Albania blames Iran for second cyberattack since July

The latest hack forced Albanian authorities to temporarily take offline the Total Information Management System (TIMS), a system for tracking data on people entering and leaving Albania, according to a statement from the Albanian Interior Ministry. rice field.

Albanian Prime Minister Eddi Rama tweeted that the attack was the work of “the same attacker” who carried out the July hack. The interior ministry said the hack occurred on Friday and by Saturday evening, the ministry said he expected all aspects of TIMS to be restored soon.

The incident poses a new challenge to the Biden administration and NATO allies, which vowed this week to “hold Iran accountable for its actions that endanger the security of U.S. allies” following the July cyberattack.

Treasury on Friday Sanctioned Iranian spy agency It is suspected of carrying out a July hack that shut down some services of the Albanian government and forced the Albanian government to scramble to restore. The White House said U.S. officials have been on the ground helping for weeks.Albania has severed diplomatic ties with Iran, making it the first time a hack has prompted a severing of ties between nations. have a nature.

The July hack came ahead of a conference in Albania that was due to be attended by members of the MEK, an Iranian group that claims to overthrow the Iranian government and that Tehran considers a terrorist organization.

In a statement on Thursday, NATO member states “strongly condemn malicious cyber activities aimed at destabilizing and undermining the security of allies and disrupting the daily lives of their citizens.”

In response, the Iranian embassy in Brussels on Friday “rejected unsubstantiated accusations” that Iran was behind a cyberattack in July’s hack.

A spokesperson for Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment Saturday about the latest hack.

In 2007, the US government helped Albania, a self-proclaimed “wear of terror” ally of the Bush administration, deploy TIMS hardware and software systems for processing immigration. According to an archived State Department page.

CNN has reached out to the White House’s National Security Council for comment.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said a cyberattack could trigger NATO’s collective defense clause, requiring all member states to defend against attacks against another member state. That principle has never been tested in practice, and it is unclear what the threshold for such collective defense would be.

“Unfortunately, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were true. [that Iran was behind the latest hack]John Hultquist, vice president of information analysis at security firm Mandiant, which investigated the July hack, told CNN. It seems as if the price of these incidents will finally be accepted by them.”


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