Cyberattack forces shutdown of Albania’s online public services

19 Jul 2022

Image: © Chris/

Albania was forced to shut down government websites and an online portal used to access a range of services due to a cyberattack.

Albania’s online public services and websites went offline after a massive cyberattack over the weekend.

The government was forced to shut down the websites of the prime minister’s office and parliament in order to deal with the attack, according to a statement from the Albanian National Agency for the Information Society.

The country shut down the government portal e-Albania, which is used to access a range of public services, The Register reported.

There are also reports that the ministry of foreign affairs and the ministry of education were affected, with the latter pausing the online registration of school children, according to Euractiv.

A government statement claimed information systems are backed up and secure, while personal data should not have been impacted as the cyberattack did not breach systems.

It is unclear how long the government systems will be offline, or who was behind the cyberattack. Albanian media claimed the attack had similarities to incidents carried out in Ukraine to disrupt critical systems.

Oliver Pinson-Roxburgh, CEO of cybersecurity platform, said while there have been cases of “independent hacking groups” targeting nations in the past, it is unusual that such a group would be able to operate on this scale.

“Nation-state actors on the other hand certainly have the capabilities to target and unsettle the digital operations of other countries,” he added. “As disruption appears to be the ambition of this incident, rather than financial gain, a nation-state actor appears the most likely culprit for this attack.”

Pinson-Roxburgh said the fact that the digital infrastructure of an entire country can be disrupted should serve as a “stark warning” for organisations.

“Businesses need to monitor for any spillover into their systems, bringing a defence-in-depth approach that combines everything from monitoring through to employee training.”

Costa Rica was dealing with a ransomware assault earlier this year from the notorious Conti hacking group, with an attack that severely impacted the country’s foreign trade.

The Conti group was behind the HSE ransomware incident in 2021 that saw more than 80pc of the IT infrastructure of healthcare services across Ireland impacted.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic