Russian hacker group momentarily knocks MI5 website offline with cyber attack
MI5’s public website has been attacked by pro-Russian hackers, who temporarily caused the British agency’s page to go offline on Friday morning, according to The Independent.
The attack came as tensions between Ukraine and Russia “continued to escalate”.
MI5, also known as The Security Service, is the UK’s domestic counter-intelligence and security body, responsible for protecting the country against threat whether it be terrorism or hostile activity.
The attack in question was a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack which is found to have been launched by a group named Anonymous Russia after announcing it had launched the attack on the encrypted Telegram messaging app.
The group claimed responsibility for the outage on Friday morning, publishing records showing server errors at around 9am.
A source told the Independent that the website was “intermittently unavailable” for brief periods on Friday, but within an hour of being attacked, the incident was resolved and the website back online.
“It had absolutely no impact on the organisation’s work,” they said. “It was only the public facing website. There was no threat to security, no secure information was accessed.”
A DDoS attack works by trying to overwhelm or flood a site with web traffic in attempt to knock it offline. And as this is a common form of cyber-attack, the Independent said it can be difficult to find the responsible party.
According to the publication, the cause of the attack is still unknown, however the security service labelled it a minor attack, saying no information had been compromised.
The attack comes at the start of Cyber Security Awareness month. One other major security threat is ransomware. TechInformed recently published a report on this attack, including preventative action firms can take and what they can do to overcome it. Click here to find out more.
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