Cyberwarfare / Nation-State Attacks , Fraud Management & Cybercrime , Government

Russian KillNet Shuts Down EU Parliament Website With DDoS

EU Declares Russia a Terrorist State; Attack Follows DDoS Hits on Eastern Nations
Russian KillNet Shuts Down EU Parliament Website With DDoS
European Parliament (Image: Dusan_Cvetanovic, Pixabay)

Pro-Kremlin KillNet hackers took down the website of the European Parliament on Wednesday in a DDoS attack that came just hours after the legislative body declared Russia a terrorist state. The website was still down late in the day as part of a string of hacktivist attacks against East European and Balkan states.

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Jaume Duch, spokesperson of the European Parliament, tweeted Wednesday that the website was affected "due to high levels of external network traffic" that he blamed on a distributed denial-of-service attack.

The official website of the European Parliament remained down as of Wednesday afternoon. Duch says the agency is currently working to resolve the issue quickly.

On Wednesday, pro-Kremlin hacking group KillNet claimed responsibility for the hack.

"Strap-on shelling of the server part of the official website of the European Parliament!" the group posted to its Telegram channel.

The attacks against the European Parliament came hours after the agency adopted a resolution officially identifying Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. It was adopted by the member states with 494 votes in favor, 58 against, with 44 abstentions.

The European Parliament also called on the EU to impose further sanctions against Russia to isolate the nation internationally for its war crimes on Ukraine.

KillNet is among a handful of Russian cybercrime groups that openly pledged allegiance to Moscow. The group, whose name comes from a tool that could be used to launch DDoS attacks, transformed into Kremlin-aligned hacktivists.

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, KillNet has been actively recruiting volunteers, often organizing them into different squads with names such as "Kratos," "Rayd" and "Zarya," to conduct DDoS attacks against Western nations (see: Pro-Moscow Nuisance Hackers Claim DDoS Attack on FBI Website).

The group conducted similar DDoS attacks against the Polish Senate website in October after the Polish chamber unanimously voted to recognize Russia as a "terrorist regime," and the group has attacked other government websites in several Balkan countries (see: Cyber Events Disrupt Polish, Slovakian Parliament IT Systems ).

According to the CyberPeace Institute, which tracks publicly disclosed attacked related to the Russia-Ukraine War, KillNet has launched 76 attacks against pro-Ukrainian countries since the war began in February.

The European Parliament could not be immediately reached for comment.

About the Author

Akshaya Asokan

Akshaya Asokan

Senior Correspondent, ISMG

Asokan is a U.K.-based senior correspondent for Information Security Media Group's global news desk. She previously worked with IDG and other publications, reporting on developments in technology, minority rights and education.

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