Hackers knock out Lithuanian government websites with DDoS attack

Hackers knock out Lithuanian government websites with DDoS attack

The Killnet hacking group has knocked out Lithuanian government sites with a major DDoS attack.

Two days after warnings to Vilnius that failure to unblock the railway and road corridor to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad would result in an attack, Killnet took down numerous Lithuanian government and corporate websites with a major DDoS attack on Monday.

The hackers bragged that they had attacked over 1,000 Lithuanian websites. Those reported to be offline on Monday or experiencing difficulties included the country's State Tax Inspectorate, the Integrated System of Administrative Services, the Central State Archive, the city websites of Vilnius and Kaunas, the Lithuanian website of Swedish telecom Telia and major accounting service provider B 1. Lithuania's cybersecurity agency reported a rise in DDoS attacks starting on Friday targeting government agencies, transportation services, and the financial sector.

The hackers had posted several videos to social media warning the Vilnius government it had 48 hours to remove the blockade against Kaliningrad or risk a strike on the heart of the Lithuanian system, affecting more than 500 companies. A Monday evening post to the Telegram group We Are Killnet vowed to continue the attack on Tuesday.

The Telegram group shared a list of Lithuanian target websites, but it was not clear if it was a wishlist or if all of the listed sites had been hacked at some point. Some were still accessible, while others were glitchy or unavailable. The hacking group encourages volunteers to join its DDoS attacks by listing the domains and IP addresses of targets in order to maximize damage.

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda doubled down on the blockade on Sunday, saying it is absolutely clear that Lithuania must and will implement EU sanctions in a Facebook post that has out of the possibility of corridors or appeasement of Russia. Both Lithuania and the EU have insisted that Vilnius is acting according to the demands of the bloc, rather than imposing any national-level decision.

Moscow has ordered the blockade lifted, calling it a violation of international law and warning that the ban on transit of sanctioned goods will have a serious negative impact on the people of Lithuania. Kaliningrad is part of Russia, Lithuania and Poland, so the only open route left is by sea.

In March, Killnet emerged, introducing itself as a friend to Russia and attacking the websites of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the neo-Nazi militia group Right Sector and the hacking collective Anonymous, which had just declared cyber-war on Moscow.