The attack coincides with Rheinmetall bosses discussing a new tank factory in Ukraine as the Russian invasion of the Eastern European nation continues.
Killmilk, the leader of pro-Russian hacker collective Killnet, posted a call to cyber arms on his Telegram channel. The internet protocol (IP) targets include Rheinmetall’s IT infrastructure in Germany and Australia.
Several IP addresses lead to Munich and Dusseldorf, where the company is headquartered, and Australia, where it operates a subsidiary called Rheinmetall Defence Australia.
Rheinmetall's representative confirmed to Cybernews the company noted an increased number of requests from the network. However, Rheinmetall's IT Security team did not notice any serious challenges for the company's IT infrastructure to resume working.
"Apparently, this is a so-called DDoS attack, which is intended to create an overload situation for externally accessible IT services - such as the group's [company] website. However, Rheinmetall's IT infrastructure appears stable. Apart from the group website operated by an external service provider, which was temporarily unavailable, there are no significant outages," Rheinmetall's representative told Cybernews.
The company haven't seen any threats to Rheinmetall's internal IT systems, and the company does not expect to suffer any financial damage due to the attack from pro-Russian hackers. The company said it was investigating the attack and coordinating with Germany's cyber watchdog, BSI.
Killmilk’s Telegram post included what can only be called an example of Russian cyber-cinematography: a two-minute video likely detailing the daily chores of KillMilk: drinking milk, driving Mercedes – a German car – digging holes in the ground, and urinating in them.
"Apart from the Group website operated by an external service provider, which was temporarily unavailable, there are no significant outages."Rheinmetall's representative said.
On March 4, Rheinmetall’s CEO Armin Papperger said the German manufacturer was mulling setting up a tank factory in Ukraine that could produce as many as 400 Panther tanks a year.
Kyiv seeks to acquire as much heavy equipment as possible before a likely spring offensive against occupying Russian forces. Moscow launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
Killnet has been targeting pro-Ukrainian governments and organizations for almost a year. For example, last month the group targeted the US healthcare system.
While experts have warned people not to underestimate threat actors that mostly employ distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, their effectiveness remains an open question: most of Killnet’s targets suffer a few hours of downtime before returning to normal operations.
The article was updated on March 8 with Rheinmetall's response.
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