July 20, 2024

AA, ANKARA: The US on Wednesday “strongly” condemned Iran’s alleged cyberattack on NATO ally Albania, noting it will take “further action to hold Iran accountable”.

“We join in Prime Minister Rama’s call for Iran to be held accountable for this unprecedented cyber incident. The United States will take further action to hold Iran accountable for actions that threaten the security of a U.S. ally and set a troubling precedent for cyberspace,” National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a statement.

The statement came after Albania on Wednesday decided to cut diplomatic relations with Iran over cyberattacks.

Watson underlined that Washington has been on the ground for weeks to support Albania’s efforts to “mitigate, recover from, and investigate the July 15 cyberattack that destroyed government data and disrupted government services to the public.”

“We have concluded that the Government of Iran conducted this reckless and irresponsible cyberattack and that it is responsible for subsequent hack and leak operations,” she said.

Noting that Albania views impacted government networks as “critical infrastructure,” she said: “Malicious cyber activity by a State that intentionally damages critical infrastructure or otherwise impairs its use and operation to provide services to the public can have cascading domestic, regional, and global effects; pose an elevated risk of harm to the population; and may lead to escalation and conflict.”

The US will continue to support Albania’s remediation efforts over the longer-term, she said, urging partners and allies to join Washington in “holding malicious cyber actors accountable and building a secure and resilient digital future.”


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