Three of top five US airport websites struck by Russian hackers
Pro-Russian hackers supposedly crashed Los Angeles International, Chicago’s O’Hare, and Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International airport websites in a pro-Russian hacker attack.
Pro-Russian hacker group Killnet directed a sequence of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against the websites of several major American airports.
“We invite everyone to commit DDoS on the civilian network infrastructure of the United States of America,” the hacker collective declared on their Telegram channel on Monday.
The call to target civilian US infrastructure was followed by a list of 46 websites of mostly airports in the United States.
At the time of writing this article, the websites of Los Angeles International (LAX), Chicago’s O’Hare (ORD), and Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International (ATL) airport were inaccessible.
ATL is the busiest airport in the United States, while ORD ranks fourth, followed by LAX in fifth place.
While many other websites Killnet supposedly targeted were still accessible, the hackers were gleaming with joy making fun of ‘bad weather for flying in the US.
It’s unclear whether US airports suffered flight delays or experienced real-world complications due to the attacks. If confirmed, affecting US flight schedules in major US airports would mark a significant escalation from the notably pro-Russian hacker group.
While Killnet has been a nuisance for several pro-Ukrainian governments, the DDoS attacks group focuses on rarely affecting their targets for prolonged periods of time, allowing for flashy declarations on pro-Russian Telegram channels but little damage.
Flames of cyber war
Competing hacktivist groups have launched numerous attacks since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, with Anonymous, IT Army, Hacker Forces, OneFist, and many others targeting Russia’s state-owned enterprises and businesses.
Meanwhile, pro-Russian groups have carried out DDoS attacks against countries supporting Ukraine, and government websites in Finland, Italy, Romania, Germany, Norway, and Lithuania, as well as websites in Czechia, Latvia, and elsewhere, have come under cyber-fire.
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 have been displaced due to the conflict in a nation of 44 million residents in peacetime.
Witness testimonies taken from Ukrainian towns occupied by Russian forces point to severe human rights violations and targeted lethal attacks against civilians. Reports of “gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights” led to Russia being suspended from the UN Human Rights Council in April.
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