During the weekend of March 15-16, cyber attackers made an attempt against various NATO websites. The attackers brought down several public NATO websites for a short period of time over the weekend. This appears to be just the latest of escalation in cyber attacks centered around the Crimea tensions. NATO officials have gave several statements validating the attack. Although, the hackers brought down a few websites related to NATO, the main website (www.nato.int) was not effected and NATO officials have stated that this attack has had no effect on their ability to help and monitor Crimea’s status.
“The so-called “distributed denial of service” (DDoS) attack, in which hackers bombard websites with requests causing them to slow down or crash, also hit the site of a NATO-affiliated cyber security center in Estonia. NATO’s unclassified e-mail network was also affected.”
The attackers were never in a position to steal any classified information. A group calling themselves “cyber berkut” asid the attack was done by patriotic Ukranians angry over what they saw as NATO interference in their country.
“Tensions between Moscow and the West have been rising steadily since Russia intervened following the ouster of Yanukovich. Ukrainian and Russian websites have both been targets for cyber attacks in recent weeks but this appeared the first major attack on a Western website since the crisis began.
Suspected Russian hackers used DDoS attacks to cripple websites and services in Estonia in 2007 during a dispute over a war memorial, and against Georgia during its brief 2008 war with Russia. Moscow denied orchestrating such attacks, saying they were simply carried out by independent patriots.”