Russian Hackers Obstruct NATO Earthquake Relief Efforts
The notorious hacktivist group Killnet, known for its close ties with the Russian government, has launched a cyber offensive against the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). A full-blown distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack disrupted several NATO communication channels that were being used for earthquake relief efforts in Turkey and Syria.
First reported by the Telegraph, the large-scale cyberattack impacted the NR communication network, which is thought to be used by the organization to transmit sensitive data. This critically disrupted communication between NATO and the Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) organization, which is currently aiding relief efforts for the earthquake that recently wreaked havoc across Turkey and Syria.
One of the SAC’s C17 aircraft was warned of the cyberattack, which was believed to be on route to the Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey at the time to deliver supplies. Thankfully, the plane managed to stay in contact with NATO amid the disruption.
In a private Telegram channel, the Killnet group admitted to carrying out the attacks on NATO servers without giving any further details on the cyberattack. A NATO spokesperson confirmed the DDoS attack and said the cyber experts are “actively addressing an incident affecting some NATO websites. NATO deals with cyber incidents on a regular basis, and takes cyber security very seriously.”
Killnet has also threatened the international health infrastructure with distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. Last month, the American Health Organization sent out an advisory in response to the Russia-affiliated hacktivist group releasing “attack lists”, which included hospitals and medical organizations across several countries.
AHA’s national advisor for cybersecurity, John Riggi, said the AHA is “aware of the threat and has been in contact with the FBI, HHS-HC3 and the Health-ISAC”. While some of the organizations in the aforementioned attack lists have since been targeted by DDoS attacks, the impact was minimal and no disruption was made to care delivery services.