The pro-Russian hacker group Killnet has attacked the website of the NATO Special Operations Forces and an organization that helps earthquake victims in Turkey.
The Telegraph reports this regarding an unnamed NATO official and social media posts by hackers who claimed responsibility for the attack but did not provide details.
The NATO Special Operations Forces headquarters website was unavailable for several hours as a result of the attack, however, it was later restored.
Pro-Russian hackers also attacked NATO’s Strategic Airlift Command (SAC). This organization coordinates strategic military and humanitarian air transportation. 12 nations, 10 of which are NATO members join their efforts in SAC.
The British publication claims that SAC evacuated individuals from Afghanistan in 2021 and supplied the Ukrainian army in February 2022. The organization is currently shipping search and rescue supplies to Turkey and Syria’s earthquake-affected regions.
One of SAC’s aircraft was on its way to deliver the cargo to an air base in southern Turkey at the time of the cyberattack. The organization’s manager relayed a message to the pilots, informing them that the NATO network used to transmit sensitive data had been subjected to a denial-of-service attack.
The cyber attack appears to have impeded relief efforts, despite the fact that communication with the aircraft was not lost.
According to The Telegraph, Western intelligence services have previously described Killnet as a distinct group of pro-Kremlin activists that attempt to interfere with the operation of military and governmental websites of nations that support Ukraine.
The attacks usually result in a few hours of disruption and do not cause significant damage. However, according to cybersecurity experts, the organization could eventually launch more dangerous attacks.
Last May, British police arrested a Killnet member in London. In response, the group threatened to turn off lung ventilators in British hospitals if the police did not release the unnamed person, the newspaper recalls.
In March 2022, shortly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Killnet released a video of a hooded man urging Russians not to flee the country but instead to support their homeland.
Killnet is at war in cyberspace with the pro-Western hacker group Anonymous, which has attacked various Russian targets. Earlier, Killnet claimed to have hacked the Anonymous server.
The last known large-scale attack claimed to be carried out by Killnet was against German government websites in late January. At the time, the hackers explained it as revenge for the decision to transfer Leopard tanks to Ukraine.
Read about the most large-scale attacks by Killnet in our review of this hacker group.