Lithuania faces cyber attack, Russia’s Killnet claims website hacked in retaliation for transit ban

The Baltic National Cyber ​​Security Center said in a statement the Lithuanian Defense Ministry was hit by a denial of service cyberattack on Monday.

“It is very likely that attacks of similar or greater intensity will continue in the coming days, especially in the transportation, energy and financial sectors,” the center said.

In a statement, the Lithuanian tax authorities said they had halted all operations due to the unusually large number of attempts to connect to their systems, even though all data was safe.

Deputy Defense Minister Margiris Abukevicius said: “The main targets were state institutions, transport organizations, media websites, in another sign of the deteriorating relationship between Lithuania and Russia’s neighbor due to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

Soon after, the Russian hacker group Killnet claimed responsibility for the Distributed denial of service (DDoS) Cyber ​​attack on Lithuania, saying it was in response to Vilnius’ decision to block transit of goods sanctioned by European Union to the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.

“The attack will continue until Lithuania lifts its blockade,” a spokesman for the Killnet group told Reuters. “We destroyed 1652 web resources. And that’s just so far.”

Kaliningrad is connected to the rest of Russia by a rail link through Lithuania, a member of the EU and NATO.

Kaliningrad is located between EU and NATO members Poland and Lithuania and is supplied by rail through Lithuanian territory.

Mr. Abukevicius said Lithuania began to notice signs of an attack as early as June 21.

A spokesman for Russia’s Security Council on June 22 promised retaliation for the blocked shipments, and stated that these shipments would have a “serious negative impact on the Lithuanian people”.

The European Union’s foreign policy director Josep Borrell said last week that Lithuania “only applies EU sanctions” in stopping the transport of some goods to Kaliningrad and does not offer any unilateral decision.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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