Russian Cyber Attack Disrupts Earthquake Aid 

Russian hackers recently launched a DDoS attack on several NATO websites which have disrupted communication with military aircraft that are providing earthquake aid to Turkey and Syria. A notorious Russian hacking group known as Killnet claimed responsibility for the attack. 

NATO sources confirmed that it had fallen victim to a cyber attack, which led to the NATO Special Operations Headquarters website and other associated websites going down for hours. The Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC), a multi-national organisation which relies on NATO support to provide military and humanitarian airlifts, was also affected.

The SAC is helping transport search and rescue equipment to areas affected by the devastating earthquake.
SAC aircraft have been used for a variety of missions since 2009 including the evacuation of nearly 3,000 civilians from Kabul after the Taliban took control of the country. It is currently being used to transport search and rescue equipment to the earthquake-stricken area.

SAC found itself unable to communicate with a C-17 plane while it was in flight due to network disruption, although it is understood it never fully lost contact with the plane. “We are carrying out strikes on NATO. Details in a closed channel,” the hacker group, who aim to disrupt military and government websites of countries that support Ukraine reportedly wrote on one of its Telegram channels.

The effect of a DDoS attack is to make a machine or network resource unavailable to users by temporarily or indefinitely disrupting services of a host connected to a network.

NATO deals with cyber incidents on a regular basis and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the alliance has deployed additional protective measures since Sunday.  “The majority of NATO websites are functioning as normal. Some NATO websites are still experiencing availability issues, but our technical teams are working to restore full access.” he commented.

More than 33,000 people died in the 7.8 earthquake that hit parts of Turkey and Syria. The toll is expected to significantly increase as rescue crews stop finding survivors over the coming days. UN aid chief Martin Griffiths described the earthquake as “the worst event in 100 years in this region” and predicted that the death toll would at least double.

UNIndia:     Al Mayadeen:      MSN:     Independent:      Telegraph

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