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NATO servers DDoSed by 'Russia-linked' Ukrainians

Attackers cite anger over Western ‘interference’ in Crimea

NATO servers DDoSed by 'Russia-linked' Ukrainians
A group calling itself "cyber berkut" claimed responsibility for the attack on NATO servers.

A cyber group disabled a number of NATO websites yesterday in a DDoS attack that has been connected to growing tensions in Crimea, according to a report from Reuters.

The mainly Russian-speaking region is due to hold a referendum today on secession from Ukraine, amid frosty relations between neighbouring Russia and Western powers over Russia's alleged military occupation of Crimea.

A group calling itself "cyber berkut" claimed responsibility for the attack on NATO servers, saying they were Ukrainians who were angry about NATO interference in their country. They took the NATO website www.nato.int offline and the website of a NATO-affiliated cyber security centre in Estonia was also affected. According to Reuters, the alliance said no essential systems were compromised.

"Our experts [are] working to restore normal function," NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu said on Twitter. "No operational impact... The attack hasn't affected the integrity of NATO's systems."

John Bumgarner, CIO, US Cyber Consequences Unit, said initial findings pointed to an attack by pro-Russian sympathisers.

"One could equate these cyber attacks against NATO as kicking sand into one's face," he said.

Reuters cited other "experts" as believing the "cyber berkut" group was affiliated with Russian intelligence.

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