News Box

Kosovo Media Regulator Struggling to Recover from Cyber-Attack

IA mirror reflects a computer screen displaying binary code in Taipei, Taiwan, June 28, 2017. Photo: EPA/RITCHIE B. TONGO

Kosovo’s Independent Media Commission says its systems have yet to fully recover from January’s massive cyber-attack, as procurement procedures have delayed hiring experts to restore them.

Kosovo’s media regulatory body on Wednesday said it was subjected to a severe cyber-attack in January that has resulted in a loss of data and access to official email addresses and internal systems for almost two months.

Faruk Rexhaj, acting head of the Independent Media Commission, IMC, confirmed that many electronic services had been disabled because of the attack in January.

“We have not restored [the lost material] yet because we need to go through procurement procedures to hire an expert on restoring the servers. Procedures took some time but we are almost at the end,” Rexhaj told BIRN.

According to Rexhaj, the IMC is working to restore the system after the attack and blamed delays on the procurement procedures needed before hiring an expert to deal with the issue.

“We are in procedure to restore equipment, materials and systems to normalcy. We are working on it,” he added.

The IMC is an independent institution responsible for the regulation, management and oversight of the broadcasting frequency spectrum in Kosovo.

It licenses public and private broadcasters, establishes and implements policy and regulates broadcasting rights, obligations and responsibilities of individuals and entities who provide audio and audiovisual media services.

Rexhaj said police were informed about the attack. “We informed the police, and the Department for Cyber Crimes has taken all data they need. They have concluded that the attack was similar to some other cases and it is not related to anything specific. This kind of attack happens all over the world,” Rexhaj said.

BIRD Community

Are you a professional journalist or a media worker looking for an easily searchable and comprehensive database and interested in safely (re)connecting with more than thousands of colleagues from Southeastern and Central Europe?

We created BIRD Community, a place where you can have it all!

Join Now