Czech Police, Interior Ministry, Airport Websites Come Under Cyber Attack
During a DDoS attack, hackers overwhelm the server with a large number of requests, putting it out of service. Credit: Freepik.
Prague, Oct 24 (CTK) – The websites of the Czech Interior Ministry and the police were unavailable for about two hours this morning due to a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, the ministry’s spokesman Ondrej Kratoska told CTK today.
Prague airport reported the same kind of attack, which took its website down between about 11am and 12pm, it wrote on Twitter, adding that the attack did not affect the operation of the airport.
“We immediately took protective measures, including restricting access from abroad. We are working hard to get it back up and running,” the Interior Ministry wrote on Twitter.
Interior Minister Vit Rakusan (STAN) told Denik N that one of the investigation theories was an attack by Russian hackers. According to the computer security company GenDigital, formed by the merger of Avast and NortonLifeLock, the pro-Russian group NoName057 was behind the attack, via the DDosia platform.
GenDigital said the group had also attacked the website of the Czech government and the lower and upper houses of parliament. The government website was still unavailable at around 2pm, by which time the other attacked websites were already back in operation.
During a DDoS attack, computers controlled by hackers overwhelm the attacked server with a large number of requests, thus putting it out of service.
The Czech fire rescue service said its website was also unavailable for some time today.
“DDosia is the work of the pro-Russian group NoName057, which has been targeting the countries supporting Ukraine since the beginning of the war,” said Avast researcher Martin Chlumecky.
He added that the attacks were a response to the Crimea Platform international summit hosted in Prague today, which seeks to restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity. According to iDNES.cz, the Crimea Platform website was also unavailable today. “We expect the attack came from the Russian side,” said Martin Churavy, spokesman for the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies.
“The details of the attack are now being examined in detail. An attack by the Russian side and, of course, the connection with the Crimea Platform meeting are among the options we are investigating,” Rakusan told the server.
Since the Russian attack on Ukraine last year, DDoS attacks on authorities and major companies have occurred repeatedly in the Czech Republic, with pro-Russian hacker groups subsequently claiming responsibility for them.
State institutions, local governments and private companies have repeatedly faced hacker attacks, mostly DDoS. Experts say this is one of the most frequently used attacks in the cyber war taking place parallel to the real war in Ukraine.
The National Cyber and Information Security Agency (NUKIB) recorded 21 cyber incidents in the Czech Republic in September, above the average number. These included continued attacks against Czech banks. However, none of them were very significant, NUKIB said.
August was also above average with 27 recorded cyber incidents.