HomeRisk ManagementsPro-Russia hackers targeted Kosovo’s government websites - Source: securityaffairs.com

Pro-Russia hackers targeted Kosovo’s government websites – Source: securityaffairs.com

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Pro-Russia hackers have recently targeted government websites in Kosovo, including those of high-ranking officials like the president and prime minister. These cyberattacks, which involved Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) techniques, were launched as a form of retaliation against Kosovo’s decision to support Ukraine by providing military equipment. The Defense Minister of Kosovo, Ejup Maqedonci, attributed the cyberattack to Russian hackers, linking it to his statement in support of Ukraine during the Defence 24 conference in Poland.

The impact of these attacks was notable, causing temporary disruptions to the government websites targeted. However, the Information Society Agency of Kosovo was able to restore the websites swiftly. Prime Minister Albin Kurti emphasized that these cyberattacks were part of a larger strategy aimed at destabilizing Kosovo’s security, stability, and welfare institutions.

A Government spokesperson acknowledged the attack, confirming that certain government websites had indeed been affected by DDoS attacks. The spokesperson also explicitly stated that the cyberattack was orchestrated by Russian hackers in response to Kosovo’s military support for Ukraine.

Adding to the tensions, Kosovo’s Foreign Minister, Donika Gervalla-Schwarz, declared that the country was under a hybrid attack from Russia following its public announcement of support for Ukraine’s defense against Russian aggression. This incident underscores the increasingly complex dynamics between nations in the digital age, where cyber warfare can be used as a tool for geopolitical retaliation.

This is not the first instance of pro-Russia hackers targeting European governments that have expressed solidarity with Ukraine. NATO and the European Union have previously denounced cyber espionage operations conducted by APT28, a threat actor linked to Russia, against various European countries. The German Federal Government, for example, strongly condemned APT28’s espionage campaign targeting the Executive Committee of the Social Democratic Party of Germany.

The scenario in Moldova serves as another relevant case, where the national intelligence agency issued warnings about hybrid attacks from Russia ahead of elections. Moldova has faced cyber threats due to its stance in support of Ukraine, as have other countries like Italy, Romania, Lithuania, and Norway, which have also been targeted by cyberattacks from pro-Russia groups like Killnet.

In France, the National Agency for the Security of Information Systems (ANSSI) has alerted to APT28’s targeting of government entities, businesses, universities, research institutes, and think tanks. The group has employed sophisticated techniques to avoid detection, showcasing the evolving nature of cyber threats and the need for enhanced cybersecurity measures.

As the cyber landscape continues to evolve, with state-sponsored hacking groups carrying out attacks for political motives, it is imperative for governments and organizations to bolster their cybersecurity defenses. The incidents in Kosovo and other European countries highlight the pressing need for collaborative efforts to combat cyber threats and safeguard critical infrastructures against malicious actors.

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