7 September 2022

The U.S National Security Council accused Iran of conducting what it described as a “reckless and irresponsible cyberattack” against Albania on 15 July that “destroyed government data and disrupted government services to the public”. “The U.S. 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”, a spokesperson asserted. The same day, Tirana cut diplomatic ties with Tehran. Iran’s diplomatic spokesperson rejected the allegation, asserting that “Iran rejects and condemns any use of cyberspace as a means to attack the infrastructure of other countries”. On 8 September, the Microsoft Security Threat Intelligence assessed that “the messaging and target selection indicate Tehran likely used the attacks as retaliation for cyberattacks Iran perceives were carried out by Israel and the Mojahedin Khalq (MEK), an Iranian dissident group largely based in Albania”.

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