Elections kick-off sees wave of DDoS attacks hitting European governments

European Union
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Members of the European Union are currently taking part in elections to the European Parliament, presenting a prime opportunity for hacktivists to perform Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks against political parties across the spectrum.

At time of writing, 8 of the 27 EU members have completed counting their votes, with the preliminary results and exit polls showing gains for right-wing parties.

Cloudflare says it has been involved in detecting and mitigating at least three DDoS attacks against political websites in the Netherlands, for which a pro-Russian cyber criminal group known as HackNeT has claimed responsibility.

Russia attacks shared interests

The HackNeT group took responsibility for attacks against two political parties in the Netherlands, the PVV (Party for Freedom) and FvD (Forum for Democracy), both of which have voiced euro-skepticism, anti-NATO sentiment and opposition against the sanctions placed on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Cloudflare shared statistics on the impacts of the DDoS attacks, with the first attacks topping out at 115 million requests per hour, with a sustained 73,000 requests per second over four hours. The second attack only reached 44 million requests per hour, with a 53,000 request per second peak.

The European Parliament elections took place across the EU through June 6 to June 9, with French President Emmanuel Macron calling a snap election in response to the gains made by far right parties. 

As the results of the elections continue to roll in, the euro has seen a dip in value compared to the dollar and the pound, with European stock markets also taking a hit due to the uncertainty surrounding the French election, and the possibility that other countries may also call snap elections.

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Benedict Collins
Staff Writer (Security)

Benedict has been writing about security issues for close to 5 years, at first covering geopolitics and international relations while at the University of Buckingham. During this time he studied BA Politics with Journalism, for which he received a second-class honours (upper division). Benedict then continued his studies at a postgraduate level and achieved a distinction in MA Security, Intelligence and Diplomacy. Benedict transitioned his security interests towards cybersecurity upon joining TechRadar Pro as a Staff Writer, focussing on state-sponsored threat actors, malware, social engineering, and national security. Benedict is also an expert on B2B security products, including firewalls, antivirus, endpoint security, and password management.