Albania says the Iranian government has attacked the computer systems used by its state police a few days after Tirana cut diplomatic ties with Tehran over a similar cyberattack.
Albania’s interior ministry said Saturday that the latest hack, which occurred on Friday forced Albanian officials to temporarily take offline its Total Information Management System (TIMS), a system for tracking the data of those entering and leaving the country.
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said on twitter the cyberattack was carried out by the “same aggressors” behind the July hack, that disrupted Albanian government services.
On Sunday, Washington condemned the recent attack against its NATO ally, saying, “The US government is supporting Albania’s efforts to mitigate and recover.”
The United States Treasury Department Friday sanctioned Iran’s intelligence ministry for “cyber operations” against the US and allies, a day after White House and NATO allies condemned the attack.
The attack happened around the time of a conference of the exiled Iranian Albania-based opposition group Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK). In early August, cybersecurity firm Mandiant expressed “moderate confidence” the attackers were acting in support of Tehran’s efforts to disrupt the MEK conference, which had to be cancelled as well due to a terror threat.
Iran’s foreign ministry Thursday rejected accusations about the alleged cyberattack. Relations between Tehran and Tirana have been tense since 2014, when Albania accepted some 3,000 members of the MEK.
Tehran alleged Saturday that the US has trained and equipped MEK for “cyberattacks and psychological warfare” against Iran.