Pro-Russia hacker group Killnet targets NATO websites with DDoS attacks

Pierluigi Paganini February 13, 2023

Pro-Russia hacker group Killnet launched a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on NATO servers, including the NATO Special Operations Headquarters (NSHQ) website.

Pro-Russia hacker group Killnet launched a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on NATO sites, including the NATO Special Operations Headquarters (NSHQ) website.

The attack was confirmed by NATO, while the hacker group announced the attack on its Telegram Channel with the following message.

“NATO 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.” reads a statement from NATO.

“We are carrying out strikes on Nato. Details in a closed channel,” reads a message published by the Pro-Russia group on its Telegram Channel.

According to The Telegraph, the website of Nato Special Operations Headquarters remained unreachable for a couple of hours. The attack also impacted the website of the Strategic Airlift Capability, which is a multinational initiative that provides its participating nations assured access to military airlift capability to address the growing needs for both strategic airlifts and tactical airlifts.

In February 2022, the organization was involved in operations to deliver supplies to the Ukrainian army.

In the past, the Strategic Airlift Capability conducted multiple humanitarian missions, it is currently used to transport search and rescue equipment to the Turkey-Syria area hit by the earthquake.

The Telegraph reported that the DDoS attack impacted Nato’s NR network which was communicating with a SAC C-17 aircraft.

“One of the organisation’s C-17 aircraft, which was believed to be flying supplies to the  Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey, was warned of the disruption in a message from a SAC manager via the ACARS (Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System) network.” reported The Telegraph. “The aircraft was told that  Nato’s NR network – which is believed to be used for transmitting sensitive data – had been hit by the denial of service attack. Although contact with the aircraft was not lost, the hackers’ attack is likely to have hampered the relief efforts.”

Last week, SecurityScorecard’s researchers published a list of proxy IPs used by the pro-Russia group Killnet with the intent to interfere with its operation and block its attacks.

The Killnet group has been active since March 2022, it launched DDoS attacks against governments and critical infrastructure of countries that expressed support to Ukraine, including Italy, Romania, Moldova, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Norway, and Latvia.

Early this month, the Dutch National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) reported that the websites of several hospitals in the Netherlands and Europe were hit by DDoS attacks carried out by the group Killnet.

The group of hackers launched the offensive against the hospitals in the European countries due to their support for Ukraine.

Recently experts from Z-CERT, the computer emergency response team for the Dutch healthcare sector blamed the Killnet group for the cyber attacks that hit the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) on Saturday. The Pro-Russia group of hackers targeted 31 Dutch hospitals.

The hackers also targeted hospitals in the UK, Germany, Poland, Scandinavia and the United States. Last week, the group announced the attacks on its Telegram channel, calling for action against the US government healthcare.

Last week the pro-Russia group intensified its activity. The group launched a series of DDoS attacks against the websites of German airports, administration bodies, and banks. The attacks are the hacktivists’ response to the German government’s decision to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

In November, Killnet claimed responsibility for the DDoS attack that today took down the website of the European Parliament website.

The attack was launched immediately after lawmakers approved a resolution calling Moscow a “state sponsor of terrorism“.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, Killnet)

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