U.S. sanctions Iran intelligence over Albania cyberattack

Sep 8, 2022, 9:20 PM | Updated: Sep 9, 2022, 9:51 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government on Friday imposed sanctions on Iran’s intelligence agency and its leadership in response to malicious cyberattacks on Albanian government computer systems in July.

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security and Esmail Khatib, who heads the ministry, for what it said were cyber-related activities against the U.S. and its allies.

Albania, a NATO member, cut diplomatic ties with Iran and expelled its embassy staff this week over the cyberattack. It was the first known case of a country cutting diplomatic relations over a cyberattack.

The Albanian government has accused Iran of carrying out the July 15 attack, which temporarily shut down numerous Albanian government digital services and websites.

Microsoft, which assisted Albania in investigating the cyberattack, said in a blog post Thursday that it was moderately confident the hackers belong to a group that has been publicly linked to Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security.

It said the attackers were observed operating out of Iran, used tools previously used by known Iranian attackers and had previously targeted “other sectors and countries” consistent with Iranian interests. The destructive malware deployed was also previously used by a “known Iranian actor,” it said.

“Iran’s cyber attack against Albania disregards norms of responsible peacetime State behavior in cyberspace,” Brian Nelson, Treasury’s under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement.

“We will not tolerate Iran’s increasingly aggressive cyber activities targeting the United States or our allies and partners,” he said.

Since at least 2007, Iran’s intelligence agency and its proxies have been accused of conducting cyber operations targeting public and private entities around the world.

Treasury, which uses an Obama-era executive order that targets people and entities that engage in malicious cyber activities as an authority to impose the sanctions, has been ratcheting up its financial penalties on Iran this year.

This comes as President Joe Biden’s administration has been working to renew the tattered Iran nuclear deal, which placed curbs on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief, which Iran insists it has never received.

__

Llazar Semini in Tirana contributed to this report. Bajak reports from Boston.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - The Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline and the transfer station of the OPAL gas pipeline, the...
Associated Press

Germany: pressure drops in second Russia gas pipeline

BERLIN (AP) — The Nord Stream 1 pipeline leading from Russia to Europe has reported a drop in pressure, only hours after a leak was reported in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in the Baltic Sea off Denmark, The German economy ministry said. “We are investigating this incident as well, together with the authorities concerned […]
23 hours ago
FILE- Hilaree Nelson of Telluride, Colorado, left and James Morrison of Tahoe, California, raise th...
Associated Press

Famed American ski mountaineer missing in Nepal mountain

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Rescuers in a helicopter were searching on the world’s eighth-highest mountain Tuesday for a famed U.S. ski mountaineer a day after she fell off the mountain near the peak. Also Monday, an avalanche at a lower elevation on Mount Manaslu swept several climbers, killing a Nepali guide and injuring other climbers. […]
23 hours ago
South Carolina Rep. John McCravy, R-Greenwood, talks about a total ban on abortion he has proposed ...
Associated Press

Major abortion law changes unlikely in S. Carolina after Roe

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Whether conservative South Carolina changes its abortion laws at all in the wake of this year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision may be decided by divided conservatives Tuesday in the state House. South Carolina for decades was at the forefront of passing more restrictive abortion laws that challenged Roe v. Wade. before […]
23 hours ago
Adismarys Abreu, 16, poses for a photo at her home, Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022, in Miami. Abreu had bee...
Associated Press

Teen interest in long-lasting birth control soars after Roe

Sixteen-year-old Adismarys Abreu had been discussing a long-lasting birth control implant with her mother for about a year as a potential solution to increasing menstrual pain. Then Roe v. Wade was overturned, and Abreu joined the throng of teens rushing to their doctors as states began to ban or severely limit abortion. “I’m definitely not […]
23 hours ago
FILE - Stewart Rhodes, founder of the Oath Keepers, speaks during a rally outside the White House i...
Associated Press

Jury to be picked for Oath Keeper boss’ Jan. 6 sedition case

Jury selection is expected to get underway Tuesday in the trial of the founder of the far-right Oath Keepers extremist group and four associates charged with seditious conspiracy, one of the most serious cases to emerge from the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Stewart Rhodes and the others are the first Jan. […]
23 hours ago
Former Miss America Cara Mund poses in front of the North Dakota state Capitol in Bismarck, N.D., S...
Associated Press

Cara Mund’s House pitch rides on abortion, outsider appeal

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — When Cara Mund was competing to become Miss North Dakota, a key part of her platform was increasing the number of women elected to political office. Later, after she became the state’s first Miss America winner, she traveled the country to encourage women to use their voice to make an impact. […]
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
U.S. sanctions Iran intelligence over Albania cyberattack