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Adopt ‘heightened’ vigilance amid reports of DDoS attacks over Ukraine aid: CSE centre – National


The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security is warning Canadian defence and critical infrastructure providers to “adopt a heightened state of vigilance” amid reports of Russian-linked cyber attacks targeting governments supporting Ukraine, Global News has learned.

“The Communications Security Establishment (CSE) is aware of reporting regarding an increase in Russian state-aligned hacktivist groups seeking to compromise, or disrupt Ukrainian-aligned allies, in response to their continued support of the Government of Ukraine,” a spokesperson for the Communications Security Establishment said in a statement Thursday evening.

“The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (Cyber Centre), part of the CSE, is reminding the Canadian cyber security community — especially critical infrastructure and defence industry network defenders — to adopt a heightened state of vigilance, and to bolster their awareness of and protection against malicious cyber threats.”

In particular, the cyber agency is warning Canadian organizations to be on their guard given reports of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

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The move comes as Russian hackers appear to be targeting Western governments who agreed to supply tanks to Ukraine this week — a move Moscow has publicly stated would be viewed as an escalation of the conflict.

Russian activist hackers knocked several German websites offline on Wednesday in what is widely perceived as a response to Berlin’s decision to send tanks to Ukraine.

The German government had been blocking Western allied efforts to send Leopard 2 tanks supplied by Germany, finally standing down after some countries vowed to go ahead with shipments even if their requests were denied.

On Thursday, Canada said it would be sending four of its own Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

Hacking group Killnet said it was targeting government websites, banks and airports with a coordinated DDoS campaign, a relatively unsophisticated attack which works by directing high volumes of internet traffic towards targeted servers in order to knock them offline.

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Germany’s BSI cyber agency said the digital blitz had little tangible effect, though some websites were not accessible. Some financial sector targets had also been affected, the BSI’s statement added.

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Killnet is a self-proclaimed Russian “hacktivist” group that has actively targeted opponents of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In June, the group claimed responsibility for a DDoS attack against the Lithuanian government after the Baltic country blocked the flow of goods to the Russian region of Kaliningrad.

Western officials say the Russian government is a global leader in hacking and uses cyber-espionage against foreign governments and industries to seek a competitive advantage. However, Moscow has consistently denied that it carries out hacking operations.

“We are not aware of what (Killnet) is. We honestly wonder why any group of hackers is associated with Russia and not with some other European country,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters during a routine briefing on Wednesday.

— with files from Reuters

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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