EU Parliament building in Strasbourg: Attack is not technically complex
Photo: JULIEN WARNAND / EPA
Whoever visited the website of the European Parliament in the late afternoon of November 23rd only got an error message Current information: As reported by several members of the Parliament, the website was temporarily disabled by a DDoS attack.
Parliament President Roberta Metsola tweeted at 4:45 p.m.: “The European Parliament has been the victim of a sophisticated cyber attack.
A Kremlin-affiliated group has acknowledged this."
The failure came after parliament voted to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.
Metsola further wrote: »My answer: #SlavaUkraini«
DDoS attacks are not hack attacks
As Parliament Speaker Jaime Duch said on Twitter, the website is "currently impacted by a high level of external network traffic."
This traffic is "connected to a DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack." Parliament's technical teams are currently dealing with the incident.
In several tests between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., the website was not accessible from Germany.
At 6:30 p.m. it can only be used to a very limited extent.
In DDoS attacks, attackers bombard websites with requests and data packets, temporarily overloading the servers so that a website can temporarily no longer be accessed and loaded.
Technically, DDoS attacks are not too complex and do not damage networks because they do not penetrate them.
No data is lost either.
In fact, shortly after the website went down, a group of hacktivists believed to be close to the Russian government claimed responsibility for the attack on Twitter.
She is said to have already attacked several private and state-owned websites in Norway, some of them temporarily paralysed.
However, it has not been confirmed that this group is actually behind the failure of the parliamentary side.
Failure right after vote condemning Russia
Metsola added in her tweet that the website went down "after we declared Russia a state sponsor of terrorism."
In a one-sided vote by 494 votes to 58 with 48 abstentions, the European Parliament tried to increase the pressure on Moscow at its session on Wednesday.
The vote ruled that Moscow's military strikes against civilian targets such as energy infrastructure, hospitals, schools and housing units violated international law.
The move is largely symbolic and has no legal consequences for Russia.
At the same time, the EU has already imposed unprecedented sanctions on Russia over Russia's February 24 invasion of Ukraine.
However, it is not clear whether there is a direct connection to the current vote.
The EU and the 27 member states had repeatedly described the invasion as well as individual incidents and methods of the Russian war of aggression as war crimes.