TIRANA, Albania ( Associated Press) — The websites of the government and all public institutions in Albania have been disabled after being targeted by a cyberattack from an unknown source, the Albanian government said on Monday.
In a statement, officials indicated that a “widespread and complex” cyberattack began on Friday afternoon, after which all government infrastructure and systems were isolated.
It began as a ransomware attack, in which hackers tried to attack with the aim of disabling critical systems, it added.
The statement emphasized that “the method used by the hackers was similar to attacks seen in international cyberspace last year” and noted those that took place in Ukraine, Germany, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands and Belgium.
Fortunately, early detection enabled the system to be protected and all are “backed up and safe,” according to the release. He said the Albanian authorities are working with experts from Microsoft and US-based Jones Group International to resolve the situation and normalize it.
The blockade of public services has affected many people and companies. The interior ministry said the police and the main civil services would temporarily appear in person at their offices.
Albania, a member of NATO since 2009, hopes to start full membership talks with the European Union soon. Albania has also been a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the past two years.