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Pro-Russian hackers take down Denmark’s Centre for Cyber Security website

Following a protracted, months-long DDoS campaign, Denmark announced this week that it was raising the threat level for cyber attacks in the country. Then, after tweeting out the alert announcement, Denmark’s Centre for Cyber Security went offline — presumably the target of more DDoS attacks.

user icon David Hollingworth
Wed, 01 Feb 2023
Pro-Russian hackers take down Denmark’s Centre for Cyber Security website
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“We are again raising the threat level for #cyberactivism against Denmark,” the tweet reads (translated from the original Danish), “among other things on the basis of pro-Russian activist hacker groups’ high level of activity against NATO countries, including Denmark, as well as their increased capacity.”

At the time of writing, the site — and the alert link provided in the above tweet — remains offline.

Pro-Russian hackers had begun targeting Danish banks earlier this month, including Denmark’s central bank, as well as financial services company Bankdata. Despite the DDoS attacks, Danmarks Nationalbank was able to continue operating, though seven private banks experienced some disruption.

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Before that, in December 2022, Denmark’s defence ministry was a target. Despite a heavy DDoS attack that took down some websites, the ministry’s normal operations were unaffected.

“Currently, there is no knowledge of other impacts than the lack of access to web portals — there are thus no operational consequences for the defence,” the Defence Ministry tweeted at the time.

Denmark’s not been the only target of such groups, however.

After the United States announced it would be providing its M1A1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, pro-Russian group Killnet went after a swathe of hospitals in the US, in much the same way Germany was targeted after announcing it too was going to send heavy armour to defend against Russian aggression.

The DDoS attacks in the US were also severe enough to prompt a warning, this time from the Department of Health and Human Services.

“While KillNet’s DDoS attacks usually do not cause major damage, they can cause service outages lasting several hours or even days,” the alert says. “Although KillNet’s ties to official Russian government organisations such as the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) or the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) are unconfirmed, the group should be considered a threat to government and critical infrastructure organisations including healthcare.”

Many such groups are as much interested in the propaganda value of such attacks as they are in actually making them succeed. Merely the announcement of a DDoS campaign on sites such as Telegram can see a boost in traffic — and a boost in recognition — for Russian-affiliated hacking groups.

To find out what motivates one such group, and how they operate, you can read our article Inside NoName057(16): What makes a pro-Russian hacking group tick?.

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth has been writing about technology for over 20 years, and has worked for a range of print and online titles in his career. He is enjoying getting to grips with cyber security, especially when it lets him talk about Lego.

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