Russian news channels targeted by a DDoS attack as Vladimir Putin gives a state of the nation address

Posted on February 22, 2023 at 9:01 PM

Russian news channels targeted by a DDoS attack as Vladimir Putin gives a state of the nation address

Russian news channels were targeted by a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) campaign. The cyberattack happened when the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, gave the annual state of the nation speech.

Russian news channels targeted by a DDoS attack

DDoS attacks have been on the rise in recent months. However, most of these attacks launched against the US healthcare system and some sites for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) were attributed to Russian threat actor groups. It now appears the tables are turning, with Russia being the victim of similar hacking campaigns.

News channels in Russia were taken offline as President Putin was giving a state of the nation speech. The IT Army of Ukraine has claimed responsibility for this hacking campaign. Moreover, a hacking group with connections to the Russian government protestor Alexei Navalny has also claimed to have helped in the hacking campaign.

Putin’s speech revolved around the ongoing war in Ukraine. In the speech, he addressed the current state of the war, and he addressed that Russia would be abandoning the strategic offensive arms treaty (START). The START treaty restricts the number of warheads that Russia and the United States can deploy.

While giving this speech, All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK) and the Smotrim streaming platform could not be accessed. The lack of access disrupted the majority of the speech made by the Russian President.

According to a report by Reuters, the VGTRK news channel displayed a message saying “technical works are being carried out,” while the Smotrim channel would not load. However, the two sites for the news channel appear to have already been returned online.

One of the state-run news agencies has already confirmed that its operations were taken offline because of the DDoS campaign launched against the news channel. The IT Army of Ukraine said it was responsible for this hacking campaign. The hactivist group took to Twitter to celebrate the DDoS campaign.

In a Twitter post, the hacktivist group said, “Great Job! We launched a DDoS attack on channels showing Putin’s address to the federal assembly.” However, it appears this hacking group was not alone in this DDoS campaign.

Another hacking group was also linked to this hacking attack. The group comprises supporters of the anti-Putin opposition member known as Alexei Navalny. The group has also said that it took part in the DDoS campaign and worked alongside other hackers to take these news channels offline.

A similar hacking campaign was also conducted in Iran. The hacking campaign targeted Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. The Edelat-2 Ali hacking group conducted the campaign that launched a hacking campaign as the Iranian President was giving a speech. The group hijacked the broadcast, calling for the government’s downfall and urging people to participate in countrywide protests.

Russian hacktivist groups launch DDoS campaigns

The DDoS campaign against Russia comes when the Killnet hacktivist group has been linked to several DDoS campaigns against Western countries in retaliation for the sanctions imposed against the country.

The DDoS attacks launched by the KillNet hacking group recently targeted NATO. The hacking group used an encrypted Telegram channel to say it was planning attacks against NATO. The group also seems to be requesting donations in the form of cryptocurrencies to launch more hacking attacks.

The secretary general of NATO, Jens Stolberg, noted that the organization was taking protective measures to respond to the DDoS attack. Stolberg also said that the breach did not affect the NATO classified networks used for communication within the command structure and during active missions.

Stolberg has also said that most NATO websites were functioning normally and that the technical teams at the organization were working to restore full access to the technical teams. While Stolberg has assured that the network was unaffected, other reports claim that communications between NATO and the Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) were affected.

SAC was deployed as part of NATO’s help in the earthquake disaster that hit Turkey and Syria earlier this month. An aircraft was deployed to fly the search and rescue teams. However, after the DDoS campaign, the ability of SAC to communicate with the aircraft was affected. However, it did not lose full contact.

Russian news channels targeted by a DDoS attack as Vladimir Putin gives a state of the nation address
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Russian news channels targeted by a DDoS attack as Vladimir Putin gives a state of the nation address
Russian News Channels were taken offline by a DDoS campaign. The DDoS attack was attributed to the IT Army of Ukraine. A hacking group affiliated with Alexei Navalny has also claimed responsibility.
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