The website of the British royal family was knocked offline by a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack yesterday morning. Russian hacker group KillNet claimed responsibility for the attack, posting about it on their Telegram channel. The site was reportedly down for around 90 minutes, although no access to the website, its systems, or its content was gained, according to The Telegraph.
Pro-Russian group KillNet known for DDoS campaigns against countries supporting Ukraine
KillNet is a pro-Russian hacktivist group that has been active since at least January 2022. It is known for DDoS campaigns against countries supporting Ukraine in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war. The attack on the royal website came just days after King Charles condemned the invasion of Ukraine. The group claimed that the takedown was an “attack on paedophiles,” posting a picture of King Charles with the words “they killed our website” alongside it.
In November last year, the European Parliament website was also hit by a cyberattack claimed by KillNet shortly after lawmakers approved a resolution calling Moscow a “state sponsor” of terrorism.
UK NCSC warns of new class of Russian cyber adversary
Earlier this year, the UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) issued an alert warning of an emerging threat from state-aligned groups, particularly those sympathetic to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The alert stated that newly emerged groups could launch “destructive and disruptive attacks” with less predictable consequences than those of traditional cybercriminals. Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden warned businesses that Russia-linked cyberattack groups want to “destroy” the UK.
“Although these groups can align to Russia’s perceived interests, they are often not subject to formal state control, and so their actions are less constrained and their targeting broader than traditional cybercrime actors. This makes them less predictable,” the NCSC said.