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U.S. Imposes Sanctions On Iranian Ministry Over Cyberattack On NATO Ally Albania

By RFE/RL September 09, 2022

The United States on September 9 announced sanctions on Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security and its minister, Esmail Khatib, accusing them of being linked to a cyberattack in July on NATO ally Albania.

The U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement that the Iranian ministry directs several networks of cyberthreat actors, including those involved in cyberespionage and ransomware attacks.

"Iran's cyberattack against Albania disregards norms of responsible peacetime state behavior in cyberspace, which includes a norm on refraining from damaging critical infrastructure that provides services to the public," said Treasury Undersecretary Brian Nelson.

Albania on September 7 ordered Iranian officials out of the country and severed diplomatic relations with Tehran following an investigation into the cyberattack.

Tirana described "irrefutable" evidence that Tehran had backed "the act of serious cyberattack against the digital infrastructure of the government of the Republic of Albania."

The Iranian Foreign Ministry denied Tehran was behind any cyberattack on Albanian government websites.

It called the decision to sever diplomatic relations "ill-considered and hasty" and said it was "based on unfounded insinuations."

With reporting by Reuters and AFP

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/iran-albania-cyberattack- sanctions-united-states/32026299.html

Copyright (c) 2022. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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