The Albanian National Agency of the Information Society (AKSHI) has been forced to shut down government systems after falling prey to a cyberattack which came from outside the country.
AKSHI described the attack in a statement to local news outlets as “a synchronized and sophisticated cybercriminal attack.” The organization went on to say that in response to the attack, they had been “forced to shut down government systems until the enemy attacks are neutralized.” Due to this, access to online public services and other government websites is temporarily closed.
Following the attack, AKSHI has reportedly been working with Microsoft, Jones Group International and teams within Albania who work in information and communications technology in order to prevent the “unprecedented and dangerous” attack from compromising or damaging the systems.
The Albanian government has previously hired US-based cybersecurity firm Jones Group International to boost their cybersecurity efforts following a data leak in December 2021 which compromised the personal and salary data for over 637,000 Albanian citizens – over one fifth of the total population.
The country had suffered a similar leak of personal data ahead of its General Election in April 2021 which saw the personal data of around 910,000 citizens being leaked to the public domain. The leak happened allegedly after the data was taken from its Civil Registry and given to the Socialist Party for use in its electoral campaign.