US imposes sanctions on Iran over cyber attack on Albania

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 US imposes sanctions on Iran over cyber attack on Albania

US imposes sanctions on Iran over cyber attack on Albania

 US imposes sanctions on Iran over cyber attack on Albania

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Today, Friday, the United States announced imposing sanctions on the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security and its Minister, Ismail Al-Khatib, in connection with an unprecedented cyber attack on Albania and their involvement in electronic hacking against the United States and its allies. The cyber attack on Albania violated the rules of responsible state conduct in peacetime cyberspace, which include avoiding damage to critical infrastructure serving the public.

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The US Treasury said in a statement that the Department of Intelligence and Security oversees several networks that contain elements that pose a cybersecurity threat on the Internet, including those involved in cyberespionage and ransomware attacks in support of the Iranian government.

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The US Treasury cited an Iranian group called MadiWater, which it said has been conducting cyber campaigns since 2018, exploiting vulnerabilities in foreign networks to steal sensitive information and use ransomware.

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She explained that Muddy Waters launched a cyber attack on Turkish government agencies late last year.

In addition to targeting facilities and infrastructure, the hackers were also responsible for leaking government documents in Tirana and personal data of Albanian citizens.

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"We will not allow Iran's increasingly aggressive cyber attacks against the United States and its allies and partners," Nielsen said.

Sanctions freeze any assets the target may have in the United States and prevent individuals and companies, including international banks that do business in the United States, from doing business with them and preventing them from accessing global financial networks.

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Albania recently witnessed a cyber attack by Washington and the Tirana government blamed Iran.

Albania cut diplomatic ties with Tehran on Wednesday, and its Prime Minister Edi Rama blamed Iran for the July cyber attack.

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In a rare video address, Rama said that cyber attacks threaten to paralyze public services, wipe digital systems, hack state records, steal electronic communications within the government, and cause chaos and lawlessness in the country.

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Washington, Albania's closest ally, blamed Tehran for the attack and vowed to do more to hold Iran accountable for threats to the safety of US allies.

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Tehran condemned Tirana's decision to cut ties, describing the reasons for Albania's move as baseless allegations.

Relations between Albania and Iran have been strained since 2014, when Albania took in about 3,000 exiled members of the opposition People's Jihad Movement, and they settled in a camp near the country's main port of Durres.

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