The European Parliament’s website was hacked by a pro-Russian group just hours after lawmakers overwhelmingly backed a resolution designating Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, the president of the legislature said Wednesday.
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The president Roberta Metsola reported on Twitter that Parliament was “under sophisticated cyberattack” and that “a pro-Kremlin group has claimed responsibility.”
European Parliament spokesman Jaume Duch said the website “is currently affected from the outside due to high levels of traffic from the external network.” He added that “this traffic is related to a DDoS-type attack”, denial of service, that is, it left the site inaccessible.
In DDoS attacks, hackers render websites inaccessible by bombarding them with unwanted data packets. DDoS attacks do not harm networks because they do not penetrate them. But it can be a huge hassle, especially when you’re targeting sites that the public depends on for important information and services.
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Metsola He said “European Union (EU) computer experts are responding and protecting our systems.”
He noted that the attack occurred “after we proclaimed to Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.
In a 494-58 vote with 48 abstentions, the EU Parliament sought to increase pressure on Moscow to bring anyone responsible for war crimes committed since the start of the invasion to an international tribunal. Ukraine on February 24.
The EU and its 27 nations have condemned the invasion in the strongest terms.
Government-backed hackers sometimes use DDoS attacks as a cover for more serious hacks, as happened in Ukraine before the invasion of Russia on February 24. But they are mostly used as a loud political tool by “hacktivists”, whose affiliations are not entirely defined.