The government of Albania (hereinafter referred to as “Albania”), a country in southeastern Europe, disclosed that the country suffered a large-scale cyber attack last weekend. A large-scale criminal operation from abroad hit the servers of the National Information Society Agency (AKSHI), which handles a large number of government services. Now the government is trying best to do data disaster recovery.
“In order to defend against these unprecedented and dangerous attacks, we have been forced to shut down government systems until the other side’s attack has been neutralized,” the Albanian National Information Society said in a statement.
After the cyber attack, all government services in Afghanistan were shut down on Monday.
The press release issued by the Council of Ministers mentioned, “Albania is suffering from an unprecedented large-scale cyber attack. This malicious cyber attack was carried out simultaneously and from abroad. In order to avoid the destruction of the information system, the State Information Society Agency temporarily closed its online services. and other government websites.”
Most public-facing services were disrupted, and only some essential services (such as online tax filing) were still running because the servers running them were not covered by the attack.
Former Afghan Prime Minister and opposition leader Sali Berisha was critical of the government’s cybersecurity posture.
He blamed the incompetence of the government, not Russia, for the collapse, while noting that the government had concentrated too many government services within the social bureau.
Berisha accused, “How can almost all the important services of the government be realized through this website? In the absence of a professional policing system for cybercrimes, how could it be possible to choose such an operation method?”
The Microsoft Jones Group international team is helping the Social Bureau mitigate the impact of the attack and work to restore system operations.
In December last year, Afghan Prime Minister Edi Rama apologised for a large leak of personal records in the national government database.
The leaked records at the time included personal identification numbers, employment information and salary data of about 637,000 people.
In April 2021, before the parliamentary elections in Afghanistan, there was a similar incident that led to the leakage of ID records in the national database.
This ransomware attack highlights the risks associated with well-known Internet-facing software vulnerabilities—at least those known to attackers but maybe not to the businesses that use the affected software. Organizations of all sizes may lag behind when it comes to vulnerability management, which is why having several tiers of security against hostile conduct is vital. A server and client-side VM backup solution, such as VMware Backup, oVirt Backup, Xenserver backup, and so on, prevents ransomware operators from launching attacks on unprotected systems. Enterprises and organizations can decide on the best technique for protecting their data.