Pro-Russian Hackers Boast Of German Website Attack

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Hacker group claims to have hit websites of Angela Merkel and the German legislature among others

A pro-Russian group linked to the separatist movement in eastern Ukraine claims to shut down a number of websites, including several belonging to the German government, in an apparent DDoS attack.

The hackers, calling themselves CyberBerkut, claimed in a posting on their website to have hacked the websites of Angela Merkel and the German legislature (Bundestag).

It said that it had hacked the websites because they claim any money the Ukrainian government will receive will be used against the separatists.

“The Ukrainian government wants to review national budget by the 15 of February, 2015,” the group wrote. “The Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk hopes to obtain multi-billion credits from the EU and the IMF. It is obvious how this money will be wasted. Yatsenyuk needs money to extend the war and not to restore collapsed infrastructure of our country. This war has already taken thousands of lives, and Yatsenyuk will kill more for your money!”

Angela Merkel © 360b shutterstockWidespread

“That’s why we appeal all people and government of Germany to stop financial and political support of criminal regime in Kiev, which unleashed a bloody civil war,” the post added. “We are CyberBerkut! We will not forget! We will not forgive!”

The attack bears the hallmarks of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, which overloads the server with millions of requests. When TechWeek Europe checked the targeted websites, both appeared to be operational as of Thursday 3pm GMT.

Government Attacks

The hack came one day before German Chancellor Angela Merkel was set to meet with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk in Berlin to discuss economic co-operation.

Steffen Seibert, a spokesman for Merkel, called the hack a “serious attack clearly caused by a multitude of external systems.” Seibert said “countermeasures” were put in place to combat the attack.

Hackers often target government websites to push their agenda, and sometimes monetary gain.

Websites belonging to governments around the world have fallen victim to hackers at some stage. Last October for example, hacktivism group Anonymous carried a major assault on the Israeli Government, shutting down 43 of its websites.

How well do you know Anonymous? Take our quiz!

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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