The European Parliament website was forced offline for around two hours yesterday after a pro-Kremlin group flooded it with traffic.
European Parliament president, Roberta Metsola, tweeted the news yesterday afternoon local time.
“The @Europarl_EN is under a sophisticated cyber-attack. A pro-Kremlin group has claimed responsibility. Our IT experts are pushing back against it and protecting our systems,” she said.
“This, after we proclaimed Russia as a state-sponsor of terrorism. My response: SlavaUkraini.”
It’s unclear what exactly was sophisticated about this DDoS. The site was only down for around two hours, according to reports.
Some sources have linked the attack to pro-Russian cybercrime group Killnet, which is known for striking high-profile sites to score geopolitical points for the Kremlin.
Just this week it targeted various sites in the UK in retaliation for the country’s support for Ukraine, including the Bankers Automated Clearing Service (BACS), the London Stock Exchange and the official website of the Prince of Wales.
The European Parliament attack appeared to be a reaction to the chamber’s declaration of Russia as a state-sponsor of terrorism. MEPs said the country was committing war crimes in Ukraine and called for more sanctions, further international isolation and a total ban on Russian institutions spreading propaganda inside the bloc.
“When organizations or governments ally themselves with Ukraine, or when they oppose Russia’s invasion, we often see them suffer a tsunami off attacks in retaliation. These are not just from nation-state actors, but hacktivists and patriotic hackers as well,” explained Lupovis CEO, Xavier Bellekens.
“Preparing for these incidents and understanding the likelihood of them happening and the techniques criminals could employ is a vital defense for all governments and businesses.”
Muhammad Yahya Patel, security evangelist at Check Point Software, said that the vendor had seen a 42% global increase in cyber-attacks since the start of the Ukraine–Russia war.
“This DDoS attack on the European Parliament is the latest effort from hacktivists to disrupt high-profile websites as part of their political agenda,” he added.
“We will continue to monitor the situation, but advise everyone to stay vigilant and make sure external facing services are protected against all attacks.”
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