The White House said it condemns Iran for its cyberattack against Albania and plans to take action to hold Iran accountable, according to a September 7 statement from the National Security Council (NSC).


“The United States strongly condemns Iran’s cyberattack against our NATO Ally, Albania,” NSC Spokesperson Adrienne Watson said. “We join in Prime Minister Rama’s call for Iran to be held accountable for this unprecedented cyber incident. The United States will take further action to hold Iran accountable for actions that threaten the security of a U.S. ally and set a troubling precedent for cyberspace.”


The cyberattack occurred on July 15, destroying Albanian government data and disrupting government services. Albania cut off diplomatic relations with Iran on Wednesday, making it the first known nation to do so over a cyberattack. 


“Iran’s conduct 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,” Watson said. “Albania views impacted government networks as critical infrastructure.”


“Malicious cyber activity by a State that intentionally damages critical infrastructure or otherwise impairs its use and operation to provide services to the public can have cascading domestic, regional, and global effects; pose an elevated risk of harm to the population; and may lead to escalation and conflict,” she added.


National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke with Prime Minister Edi Rama of Albania on Sept. 8, pledging the United States’ continued commitment to work with Albania on its cybersecurity and remediation efforts.


The White House said the United States has been on the ground in Albania for weeks, working alongside private sector partners to support cyber efforts.


“We will continue to support Albania’s remediation efforts over the longer-term, and we invite partners and Allies to join us in holding malicious cyber actors accountable and building a secure and resilient digital future,” Watson said.

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.