RUSSIAN HACKERS ON WEBSITE PROWL
Whatever gets them news coverage, even if it is not ransom, it works. Besides the ransomware attacks for money and for peddling intellectual property at times, cyber war or in a more localised way, hacks have become a tool of an ongoing physical war. Terrorism could transform aircrafts into weapons of death and destruction, now hacks are being used as weapon in furtherance of an ongoing war effort. The reply to sanctions can be hacks is the modern-day digital age war story. Russian hackers have taken down 14 US airport websites, and how it would unfold further no one knows. Hacks have a psychological angle too, of keeping the whole system on a cliff hanger.
The attack was a DDOS attack which led to temporarily shutting down of 14 major US airport sites. It was being staged by the pro-Russian hackers who were retaliating against the western countries’ aggressive action against Russia, due to the Ukraine war. Airport operations were not impacted and not flight activities were changed. The largely synchronised attack on websites seems to have originated from Killnet, a Russian hacking group. The DDOS attacks hit these websites after US airport website domains were listed on Killnet Telegram channel of Sunday. It was done with custom software designed to overwhelm the websites with false web traffic.
As a consequence of this attack, the websites became inaccessible to the public. The LA Airport website was one of the impacted ones. The actual travellers were thus not able to get update about their scheduled flights or book airport services. DDOS attacks of this nature are generally a tool of gaining attention rather than destruction or even disruption. The tragic part would be, if this were to become a trend. Over time this could get worse and impact more people. Killnet took the responsibility of attack and released a video. They have earlier been involved in cyber-attacks in Lithuania and also on US defence giant Lockheed Martin. As per CNN they had also hacked various government websites in Colorado, Kentucky and Mississippi earlier.
Slowly hacking group becoming part of the overall war effort is becoming the order of the day. Killnet which was behind the recent spate of attacks is one such group. It was formed around March 2022. It is pro-Russian hacker group with specialization in DOS and DDOS attacks towards government institutions and private companies in several countries. This has all taken place during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Five Eyes intelligence alliance has issued a warning regarding this group. Based on their intelligence there is likelihood of attacks on critical infrastructure by Russian aligned groups, including Killnet.
THE WAR EFFORT HAS BECOME WAY MORE DIVERSFIED; HACKS AND DRONES ARE SHOWING THE WAY.