Former Eastern Bloc countries Bulgaria, Estonia, Moldova, Poland, and Romania had their intelligence agency websites targeted by failed distributed denial-of-service attacks launched by Russian hacktivist group Killnet over the weekend, reports The Record, a news site by cybersecurity firm Recorded Future.
While Killnet listed the agencies' websites on its Telegram channel, suggesting a successful compromise, all of the sites have been found to function normally, indicating that the DDoS attack has only been extremely brief. Bulgarian Prosecutor-General Ivan Geshev noted that several of the country's government sites have been impacted by a "large-scale" Killnet attack last month but the hacktivist group has not been observed to exhibit sophisticated techniques since its emergence in February.
The failed DDoS attacks follow an FBI industry notice revealing the "limited success" of DDoS attacks deployed by Russian hacktivist groups against critical infrastructure.
"These attacks are generally opportunistic in nature and, with DDoS mitigation steps, have minimal operational impact on victims; however, hacktivists will often publicize and exaggerate the severity of the attacks on social media. As a result, the psychological impact of DDoS attacks is often greater than the disruption of service," said the FBI.
Data extortion has been increasingly leveraged by ransomware operations instead of data encryption, with the change in attack techniques fueled by improved ransomware detection systems and stronger law enforcement crackdowns on ransomware gangs, TechRepublic reports.
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