Posted on November 25, 2022 at 9:09 AM
The notorious pro-Russian threat group Killnet has claimed responsibility for the distributed denial of services (DDoS) attack that took down the European Parliament website.
The DDoS attack occurred shortly after the European Parliament voted to declare the Russian government a terrorism state sponsor.
The Killnet threat actor is renowned for using DDoS attacks to disrupt networks of government agencies and critical infrastructure.
After the DDoS attack, the website stayed down for some hours before coming back online. This DDoS attack is also coming days after the Killnet group claimed responsibility for targeting government sites in the U.K. and vowed to launch attacks on other government networks in the coming days.
The Killnet Group Has Claimed Responsibility For Several Other Attacks
Shortly after screenshots of the European Parliament website were unavailable in 23 countries on Telegram, the Killnet ransomware group quickly claimed responsibility for the attack. Additionally, the text that accompanies the images includes a homophobic remark against the European Parliament.
As stated earlier, the agency has resolved to officially identify Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. The decision was reached by member states with 494 votes in favor while 44 were against. However, there were 44 absentees recorded.
During the resolution, the European Parliament members highlighted that the Russian authorities have committed deliberate attacks and atrocities against civilians in Ukraine through the Russian forces. They destroyed civilian infrastructures and committed other violations of humanitarian law, which constitute war crimes and acts of terror.
The Group Has Launched More Than 76 Attacks Against Ukraine Supporters
In light of the various atrocities the forces have committed, supported by the Russian government, the European Parliament has decided to term Russia as a state that uses means of terrorism. This is not the first attack credited to Killnet since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war in February. The threat group has launched more than 76 attacks against Ukraine and other countries supporting the country.
Vice president of the European Parliament, Eva Kaili, stated that there is a strong indication that the attack was from Killnet, who has threatened to launch similar attacks in the past. He added that the attack did not affect the internal access to the website, but only the external access. The attack was stopped on time to prevent any severe damage or disruption to the activities on the site. “Unless there are extra attacks we expect it to be back and accessible very soon,” Kaili added.
In a tweet, German Green’s MEP, Alexandra Gese, stated that the resolution by the European Parliament is a strong statement from the European body that there is a massive condemnation of Russia’s activities in Ukraine. But the network collapsed a few hours after the resolution, which indicates that the Russian threat group is likely the perpetrator. Belgium’s national cybersecurity center has also confirmed that an investigation is ongoing at the EU level, but he didn’t provide any further information on the matter.
Mikulas Peksa, European Pirate Party MEP, also stated that there are reports that the Pro-Russian hacking group is responsible for the attack on the parliament’s website. He said this will be a massive attack on European democracy and will require further action if the reports are true.
The EU Considers More Sanctions Against Russia
Since Russia invaded Ukraine, several international bodies have slammed one form of sanction or the other on the country. But other organizations are preparing to increase the level of sanctions and expand it to other more critical areas. Some members of the European Parliament are calling for additional sanctions that will include the exclusion of Russia from international organizations such as the United Nations Security Council. Another sanction will be the reduction of Russia’s diplomatic ties, which will affect Russia’s trading and political standings with other EU countries.
The sanction will include the banning of Russian state-affiliated institutions in the EU spreading propaganda around the globe. The EU Parliament has resolved to increase its sanctions against Russia as the country continues to unleash its military might against Ukrainian civilians. As a result, several sanction packages have been placed and could be approved at the next EU meeting.
Apart from some European countries, the Killnet group is also known to attack U.S. organizations, as a key ally of Ukraine. Last month, the Killnet hacking group claimed responsibility for the significant DDoS attacks against the websites of several major airports in the U.S. The group took several websites offline, making it difficult for users to access them for hours.