The pro-Russian hacktivist gang “KillNet” has targeted the websites of many crucial airports in the United States via widespread distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. The sites are not accessible. Travelers are unable to log in and receive information about their booked flights or make reservations for airport services because DDoS attacks have overloaded the servers hosting these sites with junk requests.
The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), one of the nation’s major air traffic hubs, and the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), which is occasionally offline or very sluggish to reply, are notable instances of airport websites that are now inaccessible. Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Orlando International Airport (MCO), Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), Denver International Airport (DIA), as well as several in Kentucky, Mississippi, and Hawaii, are some more airports that are reporting database connection errors.
KillNet posted the domains recently on its Telegram channel, where the hacktivist gang’s members and volunteers assemble to get new targets. They are using specialized software to create bogus requests and useless traffic directed at the targets to exhaust their resources and block real users from using them. Although the DDoS attacks in this instance do not affect aircraft, they nonetheless negatively affect the operation of an important economic sector and pose a risk of delaying or disrupting related services.
KillNet has previously targeted nations like Romania and Italy that supported Ukraine, and its “sub-group” Legion attacked important Norwegian and Lithuanian institutions for similar reasons. As the conflict in Ukraine has moved into a new phase, pro-Russian threat actors and hacktivists are seeking to step up their retaliation cyberattacks against neuralgic groups in the west.
As the de facto head of NATO, the major military foe of Russia, the U.S. has provided intelligence and equipment to Ukraine since the beginning of the conflict. Still, DDoS attacks have so far appeared to be concentrated on E.U. targets, particularly following the imposition of sanctions. KillNet’s targeting area only included the United States last week, when the DDoS group targeted government websites in Colorado, Kentucky, and Mississippi with varying degrees of success.