Russian company websites hit by increased hacking in March, says cyber firm

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FILE PHOTO: 3D printed models of people working on computers and padlock are seen in front of a displayed "cyber attack" words and binary code in this picture illustration taken, February 1, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

March 11, 2022

(Reuters) – Efforts to disrupt the operations of company websites in Russia have jumped in March, a cybersecurity firm said on Friday, with the number of distributed denials of service (DDoS) attacks already exceeding those for the whole of February.

Russian government entities and state-owned companies have been targeted over events in Ukraine, with the websites of the Kremlin, flagship carrier Aeroflot and major lender Sberbank among those to have seen outages or temporary access issues.

Rostelecom-Solar, the cybersecurity arm of telecoms company Rostelecom, on Friday said it had noted increased activity on hacker forums on Feb. 22-23, with mass attacks on state authorities’ internet resources beginning on Feb. 25.

“The main target of attackers continues to be government resources,” Rostelecom-Solar said in a statement, noting around 1,700 DDoS attacks against one government portal in the past three days alone.

Businesses have also become a target, in particular the banking sector, which has also been heavily sanctioned by Western powers.

“Rostelecom-Solar specialists have noted significant growth in DDoS attacks in the commercial segment: more than 1,100 such attacks were recorded here from March 1 to 10, which has already exceeded the figures for the whole of February,” Rostelecom-Solar said.

More than 450 attacks were recorded against banks, more than four times higher than the figure for February.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Nick Macfie)