Albania’s Institute of Statistics (INSTAT) fell victim to a sophisticated cyberattack on January 31, 2024. In response, INSTAT promptly disconnected internet connections and implemented emergency protocols to mitigate potential damages. While initial examinations by IT experts revealed some system impact, INSTAT emphasized that the census data remains secure in dedicated systems. The institute is collaborating with national cybersecurity experts to conduct a thorough investigation, aiming to identify the attack’s root causes, assess damage extent, and develop effective solutions to enhance future cybersecurity measures.
INSTAT’s immediate response includes close collaboration with competent authorities to investigate the cyberattack’s source and motives. The institute is determined to restore normal operation of its information systems and strengthen overall cybersecurity. The cyber threat is attributed to the Iranian hacker group Homeland Justice, which claimed responsibility for hacking INSTAT’s website. This incident follows previous attacks on Albanian institutions, including the Parliament of Albania, indicating a concerning pattern of cyber threats targeting the country.
As part of their collaborative efforts, national experts in cybersecurity are pooling resources to comprehensively investigate the attack. INSTAT is committed to transparency, assuring the public that census data remains unaffected. Despite the challenges posed by the cyberattack, the institute remains focused on its core objectives, including the upcoming publication of census data in June. The incident highlights the growing concern of cyber threats and the need for robust cybersecurity measures to safeguard sensitive information and critical infrastructure.