Posted on April 11, 2022 at 11:57 AM
A recent report revealed that the Finnish government websites were hit by cyberattackers as the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was addressing Finland’s members of parliament (MPs). According to reports, the incident was a denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, and it affected Finland’s Foreign Affairs and ministries of Defense websites.
An hour after the attack, both government agencies announced via tweets that the sites were back up and running. It’s not clear what the motives of the attackers were, but it could be related to the war in Ukraine since the attack occurred when Zelenskyy was addressing the ministry.
After the speech, the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its support for Zelenskyy and Ukraine.
Before the attack on the websites, a Russian passenger jet IL-96-300 was suspected of violating Finnish airspace. The Ministry of Defense stated that the incursion, which happened off the Gulf of Finland, lasted for about three minutes.
The ministry added that the website was initially attacked around noon but within an hour it was “returned to normal”. The ministry added that it has already taken measures to mitigate the attack and prevent a further occurrence. The ministry added that it has sought the expertise of service providers and the Cybersecurity Center to beef up the security of the servers against future attacks.
The Attack Is Likely A Warning From Russia
Russia has been trying to discourage Finland from joining the NATO union, with the Russian government saying it will have severe consequences on Finland.
It is no coincidence that Russia has started targeting Finland which is preparing to apply to join NATO. Since Finland announced its intentions to join NATO, Russia’s cyber threat has increased in the country. Finland, which has traditionally been neutral, maintains an 830-mile border with Russia. However, it has been moving slowly to NATO, especially in the past few months, and is poised to become a member soon.
On Friday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance would “warmly welcome” Finland into the group if it proceeds.
However, Russia has been kicking against the proposal, as a Russian lawmaker warned the Nordic nation this week that joining NATO would be a “strategic mistake.” The recent attack on Finnish government websites could be a statement from Russia to back its disapproval of the decision.
Several media outlets reported that Russian politician Vladimir Dzhabarov issued a not-so-veiled threat of violence if Finland goes ahead with its plans to join NATO.
He said although Finland has ties with Russia, it would become a target if it joins NATO.”I think it [would be] a terrible tragedy for the entire Finnish people,” Dzhabarov stated.
Following the statement, the cyberattacks and the airspace breach seem like a warning to Finland that more similar attacks would come if Finland signs the agreement. But Finland has not pointed at Russia yet for the attack
An Increase In Cyberatttacks on Russia and Ukraine
As the war in Ukraine goes on, cyberspace has also been kept busy by hackers and threat actors working for and against both counties involved in the war. A recent report by Check Point Research revealed that there has been an increase in the number of attacks both against Russia and Ukraine. But while Ukraine experienced a 17% surge in attack, Russia has experienced a 10% jump.
The global threat indices showed a 16% rise in cyberattacks since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at the end of February. It reflects a 16% jump in weekly attacks in the Asia-Pacific region and an 18% increase in attacks in Europe. However, for North America, the attack rose 14% from the level it was before the war.
A DDoS attack is usually carried out to destabilize a network by loading it with too much traffic. This prevents it from responding to legitimate traffic requests, which can lead to a total crash in some cases. It is different from ransomware attacks where the threat actor demands payments to unlock the files they have encrypted.
In some cases, a DDoS attack is used as a warning to the targeted server that the hacker is capable of disrupting its services and networks. The attack was timed as it came when Zelenskyy was addressing the country’s parliament and calling for “powerful” sanctions against Russia. “We need the weapons that some of our partners in the European Union have,” Zelenskyy told Finnish MPs.