Airport Website Cyberattack

Airport Website CyberattackHacktivists with ties to the Russian government claimed responsibility for numerous distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on US airport websites Monday morning. Criminals targeted the busiest airports in the US and disrupted public-facing websites.

DDoS attacks occur when hackers use compromised devices connected to the internet to overload targeted servers, websites, or networks. Early this year, criminals were using compromised servers to amplify attacks, resulting in record-breaking attack numbers. Two attacks in July and September targeting an Eastern European tech company were recently recorded and blocked by Akamai. The more significant attack targeted six locations and 1813 IP addresses and was tied to the continued war in Ukraine.

We don’t have numbers from the Monday attack yet, but a Russian-speaking hacker group called Killnet claimed responsibility while the attack was still ongoing. Killnet specializes in DDoS attacks and was identified by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in March after the group attacked the website of a small Connecticut airport.

Fifteen airport websites were affected by the DDoS attack Monday, including Los Angeles International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Airport websites were quickly restored, and reportedly no internal airport systems were compromised. The same group also claimed responsibility for government state website disruptions in Colorado, Connecticut, Mississippi, and Kentucky last week. Colorado was the longest victim of last week’s attack, which took the state website offline for more than a day.

Killnet has a history of targeting countries backing Ukraine in the war, including Romania, Italy, Norway, and Lithuania. The attacks on government state websites last week were the first attack that expanded to the US.

Experts speculate recent DDoS attacks could signify a new wave of attacks and growing capabilities by the hacker group. DDoS attacks are generally temporary but are highly visible and attract attention to the group or government deploying them.

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Posted by Charles Wright