Multiple NATO and Ukrainian media websites were hit with distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks over the weekend by a pro-Russia group calling itself Cyber Berkut (KiberBerkut). "DDoS attack on some #NATO sites ongoing but most services restored," NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu tweeted Sunday. "Integrity of NATO data & systems not affected. We continue working on it."
The DDoS attacks against NATO were launched after secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen -- a former prime minister of Denmark -- said Friday that NATO would not recognize the results of the planned "so-called referendum in Ukraine's Autonomous Republic of Crimea," on the grounds that it violated both the Ukrainian constitution and international law. "Holding this referendum would undermine international efforts to find a peaceful and political solution to the crisis in Ukraine," he said. "It would run counter to the principles of the United Nations Charter. It is vital that those principles be upheld."
But according to Cyber Berkut, the attacks were launched Saturday in response to a small delegation of NATO officials arriving in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev earlier this month. Cyber Berkut decried "the NATO occupation of our homeland" and also appeared to threaten citizens of NATO member countries. "If NATO cannot protect their resources, the protection of personal data of ordinary Europeans cannot be considered," the group said Sunday in a post to Pastebin.
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