NATO chiefs condemn Iran's "malicious" cyber activities against Albania

NATO chiefs have hit out against what it calls the "malicious" cyber activities against Albania by Iran. The comments came on Thursday with a strongly worded statement aimed at countering the outbreak.

Albania's Prime Minister Edi Rama announced on Wednesday that all diplomatic ties would be cut and all 15 diplomats leave the country within 24 hours.

“In cooperation with specialised digital anti-terrorist partner agencies, it was first discovered that the 15th July cyber attack on Albania was state aggression. The in-depth investigation provided indisputable evidence that the Islamic Republic of Iran sponsored the aggression,” Rama told the media.

The bloc confirmed its solidarity with its NATO ally following the recent cyber attack on its national information infrastructure.

Allies acknowledge the statements by Albania and other Allies attributing the responsibility for the cyber attack to the Government of Iran. We strongly condemn such malicious cyber activities designed to destabilise and harm the security of an Ally, and disrupt the daily lives of citizens. NATO and Allies support Albania in strengthening its cyber defence capabilities to withstand and repel such malicious cyber activities in the future. Malign actors seek to degrade our critical infrastructure, interfere with our government services, extract intelligence, steal intellectual property and impede our military activities. Allies are committed to protecting their critical infrastructure, building resilience and bolstering their cyber defences. We will continue raising our guard against such malicious cyber activities in the future, and support each other to deter, defend against and counter the full spectrum of cyber threats, including by considering possible collective responses. We promote a free, open, peaceful and secure cyberspace. We pursue efforts to enhance stability and reduce the risks of conflict by promoting respect for international law, and the voluntary norms of responsible state behaviour in cyberspace, as recognised by all members of the United Nations. We call on all States to respect their international commitments to upholding a norms-based approach to cyberspace.

NATO.

The prime minister said the Albanian government's decision to sever diplomatic relations with Iran was "proportionate to the seriousness and danger posed by the cyber-attack".

US National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said American experts had also concluded that Iran "conducted this reckless and irresponsible cyber-attack" and that it was "responsible for subsequent hack and leak operations".

Iran's conduct, she warned, "disregards norms of responsible peacetime state behaviour in cyber-space".

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