Russian hackers launch cyberattack on Germany in retaliation for Leopard
The websites of major German administrations, including companies and airports, have been the target of cyberattacks, the Federal Cybersecurity Agency (BSI) said on Thursday.
The BSI has been made aware of “DDoS (denial of service) attacks currently underway against targets in Germany,” a spokesperson said.
“Individual financial sector targets” and federal government sites have also been attacked, with no major consequences at this stage.
Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks involve targeting a computer system by flooding it with messages or connection requests.
Russian hacker site Killnet took credit for the attack, according to the BSI. The Handelsblatt media group reported that the attacks were retaliation against Berlin approving the deployment of Leopard 2 tanks in Ukraine.
Clearly identifying where an attack like this comes from is, however, “particularly difficult for hacker collectives”, added the BSI spokesperson.
The hackers “issue specific calls to action and then many people participate”, but “it is difficult to prove that authorship can be attributed to them”, he added.
“Some sites are currently unavailable,” the BSI spokesman confirmed to AFP, after two Stuttgart daily newspapers mentioned blockages on Thursday morning.
“There are currently no indications of direct impacts on the affected services and, according to the BSI’s assessment, no impacts are expected if the usual protective measures are taken.”
The Baden-Württemberg regional police website was also targeted, according to the regional interior ministry.
The investigation has now been handed over to the police.
Germany has been the target of cyberattacks claimed by Russia on several occasions in recent years, including one in 2015 involving the Bundestag, the lower house of the German parliament, and the office of former Chancellor Angela Merkel.