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The Killnet cybercrime group claimed responsibility for the DDoS attack on the systems of the parliament of Europe. The DDoS attack happened shortly after the European Parliament voted in favor of calling Russia a state sponsor of terrorism. The election verdict was largely based on Russia’s attack on Ukraine starting in February this year.
Killnet attacks the EU parliament
The website of the European Parliament was down on 23 November. The news was confirmed by the president of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola. “The @Europarl_EN is under a sophisticated cyberattack. A pro-Kremlin group has claimed responsibility….My response: #SlavaUkraini,” he tweeted.
The tweet also stated that their IT team was working towards restoring the systems and that this cyberattack was because of their stand on condemning Russia as a state-sponsor of terrorism. The Ukrainian words Slava Ukraini translates to ‘Glory to Ukraine.’
A spokesperson of the European Parliament confirmed in a tweet that the Europarl_En website was impacted from outside due to the DDoS attack causing heavy traffic. However, the EP team was working to get it started again.
The MEP of the European Pirate Party stated that if the reports holding the state-sponsored Killnet group behind the attacks is true, it will call for further action as it is an attack on European democracy.
Meanwhile, Killnet continues making slanderous statements on the EU parliament in the group’s Telegram channel posts.
The case of voting in the European Parliament
On November 23, the EU parliament passed a resolution to declare Russia a state sponsor of terrorism, with a 494-58 majority. The resolution was filed by the European People’s Party, Renew Europe, and the European Conservative and Reformists group.
Such a declaration of a nation as a sponsor of terrorism does not constitute taking legal actions under EU law as opposed to US law. However, the United States of America has not made such a stance on Russia to take legal action against it.
The voting had 48 abstentions. Shortly, a DDoS attack caused heavy traffic on the parliament website and halted the systems. The parliament’s media center was not impacted by this attack. It rendered the other websites inaccessible without causing any damage to system data, according to reports so far.
Killnet is a prolific group of hacktivists with a directed chain of command over their legions (squads). researchers from cybersecurity firm Cyble told The Cyber Express. Their attacks are well coordinated with other hacktivist groups and they even crowdsource their cyberattacks. They are very vocal about their exploits on their social media handles and make every attempt to target nations they think to impede the Russian cause in the ongoing conflict, the researchers observed.
Russian attacks on Ukraine
Russia is held responsible for several attacks including the recent one on Kyiv’s critical infrastructure that forced the nation to set up winter shelters. The international atomic energy agency spoke of the attack and said that Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant had to suffer a full blackout mode due to missile strikes by Russia. Over 700 attacks have been noted in Ukraine only in the healthcare sector. As a result, the WHO has warned of a life-threatening winter for millions of Ukrainian.
The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) published an advisory highlighting the criminal activities of state-sponsored cybercriminals that included the Killnet group, this April. The Europarl had recently published a post detailing how the EU was gearing up with its new cybersecurity laws to fight cybercrime.