DDoS of the European Parliament after the vote of Russia

A “sophisticated” cyber-attack on the European Parliament’s website on Wednesday caused outages moments after members voted to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.

Parliament Speaker Roberta Metsola said on Twitter that a pro-Kremlin group had claimed responsibility for the attack.

The website came back online about two hours after European Parliament officials first reported the attack.

Parliament spokesman Jaime Duch said the website was offline due to a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.

DDoS attacks, one of the most powerful weapons available to cyber actors, target online services and websites and overwhelm them with huge volumes of traffic that the server or network cannot handle.

The main goal behind such attacks is to make trouble for the company by making their website unusable. The disruption also causes problems for individual users who are prevented from accessing the services they need and can be used as cover for other types of breaches.

“Today’s attack on the systems of the European Parliament is a warning shot. It is an attack on the democratic heart of Europe,” said German MEP Rasmus Andresen.

Andresen said parliament’s systems were not sufficiently prepared for the attack.

“I hope today’s events lead us to better protect our data and our democracies because it certainly won’t be the last time we will be victims of such attacks,” Andresen noted.

Pro-Russian hacker group Killnet was behind the DDoS attack, said Greek MEP Eva Kaili.

“We have a strong indication that it’s from Killnet, the hackers with links in Russia. This is my information, but it’s being monitored. It has only disrupted external access to Parliament’s website… Unless there are further attacks, we expect it to be back and accessible very soon,” Kaili said.

Killnet has previously claimed responsibility for attacks on websites belonging to the US government and Lithuania. The group says it is taking action against nations that have opposed Russia since its invasion of Ukraine.

Last month, the group claimed responsibility for temporarily shutting down US airport websites. The group posted a list of US airports on Telegram and encouraged hackers to take part in DDoS attacks.

Killnet asked hackers to flood servers running US airport websites with junk requests, making it impossible for travelers to check the status of their scheduled flights or make reservations for airport services.

On Wednesday, just hours before the attack on the European Parliament website, a resounding majority of MEPs voted to designate Moscow a state sponsor of terrorism, arguing that its attacks on civilian targets amounted to war crimes.

“The deliberate attacks and atrocities committed by Russian forces and their proxies against civilians in Ukraine, the destruction of civilian infrastructure and other gross violations of international and humanitarian law amount to acts of terror and constitute war crimes,” the Parliament in a press release. .

The designation is largely symbolic and Russia is unlikely to face harsh legal sanctions.

Since the start of the war in Ukraine, Moscow has been repeatedly accused of launching cyber attacks against key targets in Ukraine and its allies.

In September, the Ukrainian government warned that Russia intends to launch “massive cyber attacks” on Ukraine’s critical infrastructure and those of its allies.

The Defense Ministry’s Main Intelligence Directorate (HUR MO) said the next wave of attacks will likely focus on disrupting and destroying energy-related facilities and institutions.

He also said that the main goal of the next cyber attacks would likely be to thwart the Ukrainian military’s ongoing assaults and to increase the effect of the missile attacks on the nation’s electrical infrastructure, particularly in the east and south of the country.

Commenting on the DDoS attack on the European Parliament, Oliver Pinson-Roxburgh, CEO of threat management firm Defense.com said: “The lesson of this attack on the European Parliament should be echoed by all governments and public sector organisations: prioritize the improvement of cyber defenses to avoid any disruption in the delivery of vital services to citizens.

“The failure of public sector organizations to protect services from bad actors will only further undermine public trust in institutions. Public sector organizations need to plan for the long term, improving threat management systems and putting in place a up-to-date education and awareness training for all staff.”

Oz Alashe, CEO of CybSafe, said: “Whether it’s DDoS attacks, phishing or ransomware, one thing is certain: the current status quo needs to change. We need to fundamentally change our approach to cybersecurity by targeting behavior rather than simple awareness”.

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