The unusual tug-of-war between cybercriminals near Moscow and Italy continues.
The last chapter, which took place in the past few hours, saw a pro-Russian hacker attack against the State Police. The same Police who, moreover, shortly before had foiled an offensive started (perhaps) by the same group of cybercriminals. It is addressed to Eurovision.
Let’s first find out the details of the pro-Russian hacker attack against the Italian police. Then let’s see in what other ways the group of cyber pirates known as Killnet has made headlines, and what other sites in our country it has targeted.
The website of the State Police, targeted by the Killnet group, was unreachable on the morning of Monday 16 May.
In reality, while we are drafting the article, around 3.00 pm of the same day, we still encounter some difficulties in accessing the site.
The pro-Russian hacker attack, we said, was claimed by the Killnet groupwhich we told you about in another article.
They are very young computer hackers (around twenty years old), who belong to the Legion collective, ideologically close to the Kremlin. Since the beginning of the conflict against Ukraine, they have attacked institutional sites or in any case of primary importance in countries that declare themselves critical of the Russian invasion.
It was again a DDoS attack (Distributed denial of service). That sends computer systems into havoc with a huge amount of access requests, which slow down a site or make it completely unreachable.
At first, the news spread in the press that the pro-Russian hacker attack was a retaliatory move after the intervention of the Italian police (reaffirmed on the Twitter profile) which would have foiled several offensives during the Eurovision awards.
Ma on Telegram, a channel in which the group boasts almost 60,000 subscribers, Killnet allegedly claimed the cyber offensive against our Police, just to put it off. Because according to Killnet he allegedly misrepresented, alluding to the Eurovision attacks made in vain.
In the usual direct tone, the hackers wrote that “Killnet did not attack Eurovision”, adding a not exactly encouraging statement: “Today we officially declare war on 10 countries, including the lying Italian police”.
This is followed by a provocation: one can in fact read that “Your site has stopped working” and the Italian IT technicians are challenged to respond to the offensive, “as they did for Eurovision”.
It is difficult to understand if the attacks during the Eurovision awards were really carried out by the Killnet group.
Certainly, the Police have posted a twitter on Twitter where they explain that they have cut back on offensives both during the semi-final on May 10 and during the final evening.
In the tweet of May 15th we read: “Cyber attacks foiled from #PoliziadiStato to @Eurovision. The hackers tried to infiltrate but the activation of a 24-hour operation room dedicated to the event with #CNAIPIC staff from #PoliziaPostale allowed to neutralize and repel the #essercisempre attacks. “
There was even talk, to thwart the threats of attacks on Eurovision, of an operations room with more than 100 specialists, which monitored the Internet for more than 1000 hours.
If it were a question of hacker attacks by the pro-Russian group (however small they may be), there would certainly be a political link: even before the verdict, the Kalush Orchestra, representative of Ukraine, was among the probable winners.
The Killnet group is the same group that launched a multiple attack on several Italian sites on the afternoon of Wednesday 11 May. And that is to those of the Senate and the Defense. But also to those of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, the Automobile Club of Italy, the Kompass portal, the Institute of advanced studies of Lucca and Infomedix.
The modality, even in those cases, was that of DDoS. And there too a political counter-move was thought of. In fact, during those same hours, our Prime Minister Mario Draghi was visiting Washington. Where among other things he declared that “Russia is no longer Goliath. You are not an invincible opponent. “
Equally explicit was the response of the Killnet group: “This could be the beginning of your end”.
Since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine, the National Cybersecurity Agency had reported that, given the ideological proximity to the reasons of Kiev, Italy had ended up among the countries targeted by pro-Russian hackers.
DDoS offensives, however, are usually only demonstrative, and do not cause damage to the computer systems attacked.
It remains to be seen whether this type of intimidation is just a show of force, or is setting the stage for an offensive of another magnitude.
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