Pro-Russian hackers claim U.S. airport websites taken offline

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A pro-Russian hacker group takes credit for temporarily taking down several US airport websites on Monday, although it did not appear to have had an impact on flight operations.

The attacks claimed by Killnet have impacted the websites of Los Angeles International, Chicago O’Hare and Hartsfield-Jackson International in Atlanta, among others.

The group posted a list of airports on Telegram, urging hackers to take part in what’s called a DDoS attack – a distributed denial of service caused when a computer network is flooded with simultaneous data transmissions.

The group’s call to action included airports across the country including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi and Missouri.

It was not immediately clear how many airports had been affected and whether all victim sites had been disrupted.

In a statement, LAX officials told NPR that FlyLAX.com was partially disrupted early Monday morning.

“The outage was limited to publicly accessible portions of the FlyLAX.com website. No internal airport systems were compromised and there were no operational disruptions,” a doorman said. -speak in a press release sent by e-mail.

She added that the airport’s IT team had restored all services and was investigating the cause. Officials also notified the FBI and the Transportation Security Administration.

Around 1 p.m. in Atlanta, the authorities said ATL.com was “up and running after an incident early this morning rendered it unavailable to the public.” But people on Twitter continued to complain that parts of the site were inaccessible for several hours after the announcement.

Atlanta airport officials said no airport operations were affected.

In an earlier post on Monday, Killnet noted other vulnerable U.S. sites that could succumb to similar DDoS attacks, including marine terminals and logistics facilities, weather monitoring centers, healthcare systems, subway systems, and more. , exchanges and online trading systems.

The group praised a handful of teams they say helped bring the sites offline, writing, “Who was involved in the liquidation of the United States of America, don’t stop!!”

The attacks follow another series of cyberattacks allegedly launched by the group last week. In this case, the group took credit for rallying the hackers to state government sites.

Both campaigns appear to have been driven by anti-American sentiment for the country’s involvement in the ongoing war in Ukraine, as Russian President Vladimir Putin pushes ahead with the invasion despite harsh economic sanctions.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To learn more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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