Albanian IT staff charged with negligence over cyberattack

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian prosecutors on Wednesday asked for the house arrest of five public employees they blame for not protecting the country from a cyberattack by alleged Iranian hackers.

Prosecutors said the five IT officials of the public administration department had failed to check the security of the system and update it with the most recent antivirus software.

They are accused of “abuse of post,” which can attract a prison sentence of up to seven years.

In September, Albania cut diplomatic ties with Iran over a July 15 cyberattack that temporarily shut down numerous Albanian government digital services and websites. Tirana called the disruption an act of “state aggression.”

Since then, there have been several milder cyberattacks from the same Iranian source.

The United States government imposed sanctions on Iran’s intelligence agency and its leadership in response to the July cyberattack.

Albania, a NATO member, has been helped by the alliance, the U.S. and the EU to investigate and install better cyber defenses.

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