CyberCrimeSecuritySecurity ManagementWorkspace

European Commission Victim Of “Large Scale” Cyberattack

Duncan MacRae is former editor and now a contributor to TechWeekEurope. He previously edited Computer Business Review's print/digital magazines and CBR Online, as well as Arabian Computer News in the UAE.

Follow on:

The EC has passed details of the attack to the EU’s cyber emergency response team

The European Commission (EC) has suffered a “large scale” cyberattack that put the European Union’s (EU) main website out of action for several hours on Thursday.

As well as overloading and knocking out the website, the attack also prevented EC staff from accessing the Internet.

Overloaded

EC IT services confirmed that the attack began at about 3pm causing its servers to be overloaded, and it took them until the evening to bring the situation under control.

DDoSThe IT team emailed staff after 6pm explaining that the commission had been the victim of a denial of services (DOS) attack, “which resulted in the saturation of the Internet connection”.

An EC spokesperson told POLITICO that no data breach had occurred, adding: “The attack has so far been successfully stopped with no interruption of service, although connection speeds have been affected for a time.”

It is not clear if the EC knows who is responsible for the attack or why it took place, but it did coincide with the hosting of the EU-Ukraine Summit in Brussels. The EC said the summit is intended to strengthen its partnership with Ukraine and highlight “significant reform progress achieved by Ukraine”.

The EC IT security team said it has passed on details of the attack to the EU’s cyber emergency response team (CERT-EU).

Try our cybersecurity quiz!