The Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and its minister were subject to sanctions by the US which accused them of involvement in a disruptive cyber-attack
On Friday, the US put sanctions on Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence on accusations of involvement in a cyber-attack on Albania in July against the US and its allies.
Following the incident, Albania cut off diplomatic ties with Iran on Wednesday and demanded that Iranian diplomats and embassy personnel vacate their posts within 24 hours.
According to a statement from the US Treasury Department, the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence is in charge of various networks of cyber threat actors, including those engaged in cyber espionage and ransomware attacks on behalf of the Iranian government.
In a statement, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson stated, “We will not tolerate Iran’s increasingly aggressive cyber-attacks.”
We are designating Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security and its Minister for engaging in cyber-enabled activities against the U.S. and our allies. We won’t tolerate cyberattacks targeting the U.S. or our allies’ interests, infrastructure, or services.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) September 9, 2022
Iran rejected the sanctions as being politically driven and ineffectual.
According to some analysts, Albania was to be punished for its backing of the Mujahedin-e-Khalq, an Iranian dissident organization based there.
Government websites and other public services were momentarily interrupted by the July cyber-attacks.