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According to the prime minister on Wednesday, Albania severed diplomatic ties with Iran and evacuated its embassy personnel in response to a significant cyberattack on Albanian government websites that took place about two months ago and was reportedly carried out by Tehran.
The decision by NATO member Albania was the first instance in which a nation severed diplomatic ties as a result of a cyberattack.
The investigation, according to Prime Minister Edi Rama, "discovered indisputable evidence" that Iran "hired four gangs to mount the attack on Albania" on July 15th.
According to him, the hackers also attempted to cause disruption, shut down government operations, and steal and destroy data.
Iran responded by dismissing Mr. Rama's assertions as "baseless."
The United States vowed to hold Iran responsible for its activities that put Albania's security at risk and vehemently denounced the cyberattack on a Nato ally.
In a statement shown on television, Mr. Rama claimed that the hacker groups' intentions were to "destroy the digital infrastructure of the government of the Republic of Albania, as well as to steal data and electronic communications from government networks."
...he went on to say: "The said attack failed its purpose... all systems came back fully operational and there was no irreversible wiping of data."
The Free Iran World Summit was scheduled to take place at the Manez camp in July, and lawmakers from the United States were among the guests. "For security reasons and owing to terrorist threats and conspiracies," the conference was called off.