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Pro-Russian Hackers Take Down German Government Websites with DDoS Attack

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Several websites belonging to the German government were down on Wednesday. Pro-Russian hacker group CyberBerkut has claimed responsibility for the DDoS attacks.

According to a report by Bloomberg on Thursday, while most of the websites are back online, it is unclear why some components of the government’s main website remain offline.

CyberBerkut launched the attack, urging “Germany to stop financial and political support of criminal regime in Kiev” in a message on its website on Wednesday.

Websites belonging to the lower house of parliament, the foreign ministry, and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s page all suffered downtime related to the attack, which targeted the data center belonging to its service provider, Dusseldorf-based Babiel GmBH.

According to a report by SC Magazine, German intelligence officials told Reuters that on average there are 3,000 hacker attacks daily on government websites, but this is the first time that hackers have been successful in bringing the sites down.

Large-scale DDoS attacks are on the rise. A recent report by VeriSign showed that DDoS attacks 10Gbps and up grew significantly in Q3 2014. It is unclear just how big the attacks against the German websites were.

On Wednesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with Ukrainaian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk to sign a loan agreement.

In an interview with German broadcaster ZDF, Yatseniuk said: “I strongly recommend that the Russian secret services stop spending taxpayer money for cyber-attacks against the Bundestag and Chancellor Merkel’s office.”

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About the Author

Nicole Henderson is the Editor in Chief of the WHIR, where she covers daily news and features online. She has a bachelor of journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto. You can find her on Twitter @NicoleHenderson.

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