Albania’s Prime Minister Issues Data Leak Apology
The prime minister of Albania, Edi Rama, has released a public apology for a cybersecurity incident in which the personal data of hundreds of thousand of Albanian citizens was leaked online. According to cybersecurity professionals, an Excel file containing data pertaining to employees in the public and private sectors was found circulating on social media and was reportedly broadly shared via messaging apps. Data exposed in the file includes monthly salaries, job titles, employer names, and ID numbers belonging to over 637,000 Albanian individuals. BIRN reported that an investigation into the authenticity of the data remains ongoing.
Suspicions have been raised that the Excel file containing the sensitive data was leaked from either Albania’s tax service or its Social Insurance Institute. Mr. Rama apologized for the security incident and confirmed that the leak did not appear to be the result of malicious actions by an external threat actor. Instead, the leak was likely caused by an internal infiltration. Government spokesperson Endri Fuga explained that an initial examination of the file’s contents suggested that it had been formed by conglomerating several different pieces of data. Unfortunately, since the data was so widely shared and accessed by hundreds of different individuals, the leak poses an ongoing threat to the individuals whose personal information was compromised.