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The attack forced the agency to shut down its IT systems for some time.

Italy’s energy agency, Gestore dei Servizi Energetici (GSE), suffered a malware attack on Sunday night and Monday morning, according to a report in Bloomberg. GSE is responsible for the country’s energy security. According to the agency, this service continues without problems and wasn’t affected by the attack.

GSE’s IT systems and websites were shut down to protect the data, the statement said. The agency’s role as an eleventh-hour gas buyer for Italy’s electricity network hasn’t been hampered. Italian police and cybersecurity authorities are still assessing the extent of the attack and what kind of data was compromised, a spokesperson for GSE said.

Among other roles, GSE is one of the government agencies in charge of running Italy’s electricity market. “In any case,” a GSE manager announced in a note, “the purchase of gas for the last resort service entrusted by the GSE is guaranteed”.

Italy is highly susceptible to cyberattacks

GSE isn’t the first large Italian company or institution to be hit by a cyberattack. The Corriere della Sera reports that Italy ranks ninth in the world in terms of cyberattack traffic of any type. According to the latest Censis report on cyber security, roughly 65 percent of individuals have been the target of deceptive e-mails to extract personal and sensitive data.

The European Union Agency for Cybersecurity recently highlighted that Italy is the country most at risk of threats deriving from ransomware. Italy ranks higher than the United States, Germany and France. The Italian postal police handled 5,434 significant cyberattacks during 2021, an average of 15 cases per day.

Tip: LockBit claims ransomware attack on Italian tax authority