Hungarian banks, telecoms services briefly hit by cyber attack: Magyar Telekom

FILE PHOTO:  Hooded an holds laptop computer as cyber code is projected on him in this illustration picture
FILE PHOTO: A hooded man holds a laptop computer as cyber code is projected on him in this illustration picture taken on May 13, 2017. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Illustration/File Photo

September 26, 2020

BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Some Hungarian banking and telecommunication services were briefly disrupted by a powerful cyber attack on Thursday launched from computer servers in Russia, China and Vietnam, telecoms firm Magyar Telekom <MTEL.BU> said on Saturday.

The event was a distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, a cyber attack in which hackers attempt to flood a network with unusually high volumes of data traffic in order to paralyse it.

The volume of data traffic in the attack was 10 times higher than the amount usually seen in DDoS events, the company said.

“That means that this was one of the biggest hacker attacks in Hungary ever, both in its size and complexity,” it said.

“Russian, Chinese and Vietnamese hackers tried to launch a DDoS attack against Hungarian financial institutions, but they tried to overwhelm the networks of Magyar Telekom as well,” the company added in a statement.

The attack, which took place in several waves, disrupted the services of some of the country’s banks and caused lapses in Magyar Telekom’s services in certain parts of the capital, Budapest, before being repelled by the company.

Hungarian bank OTP Bank <OTPB.BU> confirmed it had been affected by the attack.

“There was a DDoS attack on telecom systems serving some of the banking services on Thursday,” the bank said.

“We repelled the attempt together with Telekom that was also affected and the short disruption in some of our services ended by Thursday afternoon.”

(Reporting by Anita Komuves and Marton Dunai; Editing by Jason Neely and Helen Popper)