Russian Cybercrime Group Attacks Germany for Helping Ukraine


January 30, 2023

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Russian Cybercrime Group Attacks Germany for Helping Ukraine

Pro-Russia cybercrime group Killnet has launched a series of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against targets in Germany in retaliation for German plans to send tanks to Ukraine.

The attackers focused on websites of German banks, airports and administrative bodies. Most of the attacks failed however, according to Germany’s Federal Cyber Security Authority (BSI).

"Currently, some websites are not accessible,” the BSI stated. “There are currently no indications of direct effects on the respective services and, according to the BSI's assessment, these are not to be expected."

The assault comes in response to Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Wednesday announcement that Germany will send 14 German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and allow other countries to send theirs, as well.

Until recently, export regulations prevented other countries from sending the tanks to Ukraine, but ministers changed that in Wednesday’s cabinet meeting.

Russian-language Telegram channels administered by Killnet broadcasted several messages announcing the attacks and urging hackers to join in the effort to disrupt German websites.

Although the consensus is that Killnet coordinated the attacks, the BSI says it’s hard to attribute the malicious campaign to a specific actor.

Numerous hacktivists operate under the self-proclaimed Killnet umbrella, as the group often relays call-to-arms messages on its channels.

Attacks coordinated by the group increased after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Killnet has previously targeted other opponents of the invasion.

In October last year, the self-proclaimed hacktivist group hit US Airline websites with DDoS attacks, affecting website visitors but without altering actual flights whatsoever. The same group attempted another DDoS attack against the US Treasury a month later. This time, however, the attack failed, as the operation failed to impact the institution.




Vlad's love for technology and writing created rich soil for his interest in cybersecurity to sprout into a full-on passion. Before becoming a Security Analyst, he covered tech and security topics.

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