Car license plates and phone numbers leak for 650,000 Albanians, government has not declared “cyber emergency”

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A database of car license plates is circulating on social media in the aftermath of the salary publication scandal, which revealed the salaries, ID card numbers and phone numbers of more than half a million Albanians.

The Prosecutor’s Office in Tirana filed criminal charges yesterday for “power abuse” and “breaching with computer systems”.

The prosecution has dispatched an investigation team to three institutions: the National Agency for the Information Society, the Social Insurance Institute, and the General Directorate of Taxes.

In the event of such a data leak, the council of ministers usually enters what is known as a “cyber crisis,” but this has not occurred.

In the Albanian system, the National Agency for Information Society is in charge of the majority of the administration of government IT systems, or those deemed critical. Institutions possess programs such as e-tax, which includes a tax directorate where payees’ data is registered.

The civil registry has the registration application with the citizens’ identity numbers, whereas the license plate registry has the application. The data of these institutions has been revealed, demonstrating that the cyber security procedures in place on their servers are ineffective.

Governmental response is non-existent, as system freezing would allow the national authority for electronic certification and cyber security to perform the necessary inquiry. Also known as the “computer emergency group”, the situation should have been analyzed in beforehand and the public should have been periodically notified about the progress, but this is not happening.

A2 CNN spoke with Vilma Tomco, the director of this institution, who indicated that cyber security checks are conducted every year.

The recommendations for the institutions and servers under their control appear to have never been adopted, despite the fact that sensitive citizen data continues to emerge in the country.