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Russian Hackers Disrupt NATO Earthquake Relief Operations

Killnet claims DDoS attack against NATO Special Operations Headquarters, Strategic Airlift Capability, and more.

Dark Reading Staff

February 13, 2023

1 Min Read
NATO Flag
Source: iliya Mitskovets via Alamy

NATO's Special Operations Headquarters and Strategic Airlift Capability — both working to deliver humanitarian aid to victims of the recent Turkish-Syrian earthquake — were among NATO organizations disrupted by a weekend cyberattack.

Russian-based Killnet threat group has claimed responsibility for launching distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against NATO, according to reports.

"We are carrying out strikes on NATO," Killnet wrote on its Telegram channel, according to The Telegraph.

Reports added NATO's NR network, reportedly used to transmit sensitive and classified data, was also targeted. Besides knocking sites temporarily offline, the cyberattack disrupted communications between NATO and at least one of its airplanes transporting search and rescue equipment to Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, The Telegraph reported.

A devastating earthquake hit in southeastern Turkey and Syria on Feb, 6 and along with its aftershocks. has already claimed 35,000 lives. Emergency workers from around the world have converged on the area to join in efforts to pull survivors from the rubble.

"NATO cyber experts are actively addressing an incident affecting some NATO websites," a NATO spokesperson told The Telegraph confirming the hack. "NATO deals with cyber incidents on a regular basis, and takes cyber security very seriously."

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Dark Reading Staff

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