What is Killnet? Meet the Pro- Russian hacker group made cyberattacks on US airports

What is Killnet Group? Meet the Pro- Russia hacker group made cyberattacks on US airpirts

Killnet is a pro-Russia hack visit group known for its denial of service and DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks towards government institutions and private companies in several countries during 2022. Let’s see what happened next in detail.


What happened?

On Wednesday, a group of Russian-speaking hackers claimed responsibility for a denial-of-service attack on state government websites, which caused brief or significant disruptions in numerous jurisdictions. Hackvisit group identified at least 13 U.S. air travel websites as potential targets for cyberattacks on Monday morning, including those for Hartsfield-Jackson International in Atlanta and Los Angeles International Airport, two of the largest airports in the nation.

In Colorado, the state created a temporary replacement webpage at the same URL to serve residents in the meantime, the Office of Information Technology reported in the press release. That temporary colorado.gov site directs residents to frequently used online services, including other state websites, which were not affected.

No evidence suggests that any airport operations were impacted, and the kind of cyberattack the hackers allegedly used leaves no long-term traces.

However, it served as a warning about the potential harm that Killnet, a pro-Russian organization can do to American websites.

Last week, Killnet targeted the websites of numerous US states, successfully taking the Kentucky government and Colorado governments offline for a few hours each.

Despite the hacking group’s political agenda, any direct ties between it and the Russian government currently are unknown, CNN reports.

“If cybercrime happens it leads to blocking your access or deleting your accounts and personal data.”


What is Killnet?

Known for its DoS (denial of service) and DDoS (distributed denial of service) operations against government organizations and private companies in several countries during the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Killnet is a pro-Russian hacking group. It is believed that the organization was established sometime in or around March 2022.

In April 2022, the Five Eyes intelligence coalition issued a warning on assaults on crucial infrastructure by organizations with ties to Russia, including Killnet.

The type of cyberattack used by Killnet is known as “distributed denial of service” (DDoS), in which hackers flood computer servers with phony web traffic to knock them offline.


Killnet cyberattacks

First attack in Romania: Between April 29 and May 1, 2022, assaults on the websites of the Romanian government were perpetrated by Killnet.

Last attack in Japan: On September 6, 2022, Killnet declared that it had attacked 23 websites belonging to four ministries and agencies, including the social networking service “mixi,” e-Gov, a portal site for administrative information run by the Digital Agency, and eLTAX, a local tax website run by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. They also published a video on September 7 declaring war on the Japanese government and claiming responsibility for attacks on the Tokyo and Osaka subway systems. The same day, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno stated at a news conference that as of right now, no information has been revealed as a consequence of this attack.

Previous US cyber attacks: Prior to this, on August 1, 2022, an organization and its creator going under the name of “Killmilk” claimed credit for a cyberattack on Lockheed Martin, an American defense company, in retribution for the HIMARS systems the U.S. had provided to Ukraine. In addition to being “responsible for hundreds and thousands of human murders,” the organization said that Lockheed Martin “is the genuine supporter of international terrorism.” The gang declared shortly before the strike that it would launch a new kind of cyberattack that was distinct from its previous DoS and DDoS cyberattacks. According to Killmilk, the hack targeted Lockheed Martin’s manufacturing systems and data on its personnel so that they might be “persecuted and exterminated across the world!”.

On October 10, 2022, several US airport websites came under attack.

What did the police say?

“John Hultquist, a vice president at Google-owned cybersecurity firm Mandiant told that:

DDoS attacks are favored by actors of varying sophistication because they have visible results, but these incidents are usually superficial and short lives.”

Some Kentucky government state websites have been experiencing abnormal traffic, resulting in intermittent interruptions,” Carlos Luna, general manager of Kentucky Interactive, a contractor that manages Kentucky government websites, said in a statement.

We continue to investigate and are working with the Commonwealth to migrate the issue.”

Officials at the FBI and CISA reiterated this week that any efforts by hackers to breach election infrastructure are “unlikely to result in largescale disruptions or prevent voting.”

Killnet thrives off of public attention and bravado, and cybersecurity experts have to strike a balance between being mindful of Killnet’s online antics and not hyping a low-level threat.

We do not want to build up this group or convey a false sense of doom to scare people or give Killnet unwanted publicity,” Jason Passwaters, chief operating officer of security firm Intel 471, previously told CNN.

This group is capable of causing disruptions, but it’s up to organizations to understand what kind of risk Killnet actually poses to their operations.”


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