The FBI says Russian hacktivists are only seeing 'limited' success with DDoS attacks

DDoS Attack
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Russian “hacktivists” have been pretty active in cyberspace since the invasion of Ukraine began, targeting organizations in the public and private sectors throughout the western world with DDoS attacks, often targeting US government institutions. 

However, the FBI’s latest report claims that these attacks have had “limited” success and have actually just been more of a nuisance than an actual problem.

The US law enforcement agency published a new paper in which it claims the attacks caused “minor impacts”, without actually naming any threat actors. Some sources, however, believes the paper refers to Killnet, a pro-Russia hacker group that recently struck multiple US airports (knocking websites offline, but not impacting flights), JPMorgan Chase, as well as the US Treasury Department.

Psychological impact

In all of these incidents, the effects have been minor, and the attacks described as feeble. 

But if that’s the case, why would the FBI bother publishing an entire report on the topic? Here’s the explanation:

“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.”

In other words, Killnet is trying to make a name for itself, regardless of the (lack of) success of these attacks. 

But it’s not like Killnet is completely harmless. While it failed to wreak havoc among US businesses and government agencies, it did cause quite a stirrup in Eastern Europe. Apparently, it successfully targeted more than 200 organizations in this part of the world, including a Lithuanian energy company Ignis Group. 

According to The Register, one of the reasons why we’re seeing so many DDoS attacks is that there are plenty of opensource DDoS tools out there hacktivists can use, making this form of cybercrime relatively easy and attractive for hackers. 

Via: The Register

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.