All online public services and government websites in Albania were closed on Sunday following a synchronised cyberattack from outside the country, the Albanian National Agency for the Information Society (AKSHI) said in a press statement.
"In order to withstand these unprecedented and dangerous strikes, we have been forced to close down government systems until the enemy attacks are neutralized," the statement read.
According to AKSHI, the agency has been forced to close down the official websites of the government including the website of the Prime Minister's Office, of the country's Parliament, as well as the governmental portal e-Albania, which is used by all Albanians and foreign residents for public services.
"The national agency is currently working together with the Microsoft team, the Jones Group International team, and the teams of Albanian companies in the ICT field to prevent this cyberattack from damaging or compromising the Albanian systems of information," added the statement.
As of May 1, the Albanian government has decided to close the majority of civil state offices across the country that provided several services and documents to the citizens, giving this major role to the governmental online portal e-Albania.
Last month, a cyberattack temporarily knocked out public and private websites in Norway.
Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said that to his knowledge the attack “has not caused any significant damage.”
The distributed-denial-of-service (DDOS) attack targeted a secure national data network forcing the temporary suspension of online services for several hours after the incident, the Norwegian National Security Authority had revealed.
A criminal pro-Russian group appeared to be behind the cyberattacks, NSM head Sofie Nystrøm said. She added that the attacks “give the impression that we are a piece in the current political situation in Europe.”
The recent cyberattack on Norway came two days after a similar attack temporarily knocked out public and private websites in Lithuania with a pro-Moscow hacker group reportedly claiming responsibility.