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Russian hackers hit Japan’s government websites

Pro-Russian hacker collective Killnet has launched several attacks against Japan over its support for Ukraine.

Killnet boasted about hitting several websites in Japan. According to the group’s Telegram channel, hackers targeted Japan’s government websites with distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks for several days.

23 government websites, including the country’s digital agency and education ministry, were targeted during the attacks. Killnet also claims to have temporarily disabled Japan’s social network Maxi, websites of Tokyo’s subway and port of Nagoya.

The group says it targeted Japan over the country’s support for Ukraine and disagreements over the Kuril Islands. The Soviet Union invaded the archipelago in the last days of the Second World War after the US had already used nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

While Killnet has claimed responsibility for the attacks, Japan’s officials reserve attribution and say no data was leaked during the attacks. Japan’s authorities restored government website operation several hours after the attacks.

Killnet hackers hit Japan’s government websites
Killnet boasting attacks on their Telegram channel. Image by Cybernews.

Crooks turned crusaders

Killnet has been taunting nations supporting Ukraine for several months. The group has unsuccessfully tried to disrupt the Eurovision song contest, from which Russia was banned over the war in Ukraine.

Government websites in Italy, Romania, Germany, Lithuania, Norway, Czechia, Latvia, and elsewhere were under Killnet’s cyber fire. The pro-Russian group has declared war against NATO and countries that support Ukraine.

When it debuted at the beginning of the year, Killnet was not even the name of an outfit. Rather, it was the moniker given to a distributed denial of service (DDoS) tool offered at a price to other threat actors.

The group tried to rent botnets that had a capacity of 500GB per second for $1,350 per month. After Russia invaded Ukraine and hackers from around the world flocked to help the country defend against Moscow’s invasion, Killnet refocused and started hacktivism in support of Russia.

Competing hacker groups launched numerous attacks after Russia invaded Ukraine. Anonymous, Ukraine’s IT Army, Hacker Forces, and many other hacktivist groups started targeting Russia’s state-owned enterprises and businesses.

According to the United Nations, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has created the ‘fastest-growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.’ Over 12 million people were displaced due to the conflict in a nation with 44 million residents.

Witness testimonies from Ukrainian towns Russian forces have occupied for close to a month point to severe human rights violations and targeted lethal attacks against civilians. Reports of “gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights” got Russia suspended from the UN Human Rights Council.

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