DDoS Attacks DoS Attacks Stop DDoS Stop DDoS Attacks Stop Hackers
Belgian government plagued by hackers
February 24, 2016

Hackers claimed Monday to have made a successful denial-of-service attack on the Belgian National Bank, shutting down the bank’s website for most of the morning.

The attack followed a series of hacks over the weekend by the same cyber criminal group, which included attacks on the website of the Belgian Agency for Nuclear Control, the federal Crisis Center (coordinating the government’s security actions) and the federal Cyber Emergency Team’s website.

“From Friday onwards, websites have been periodically inaccessible,” said Miguel De Bruycker, director of the federal Center for Cybersecurity. “There is an investigation ongoing and we are providing all elements to prosecutors,” he said.

“It is the first time such a whole series of short, criminal incidents has happened,” he added.

Authorities suspect the Belgian hackers purchased the botnet, or group of computers carrying out the DDoS attack, from a foreign criminal network.

The hacker collective goes by the name DownSec and uses symbols similar to those used by the global hacking network Anonymous. They claim to fight against “the abuses of a corrupt government” in a mission statement on their Facebook page.

But the hackers initially focused on their demand for an investigation into the suicide of a 14-year-old girl from Herstal, near Liège, who was allegedly cyber-bullied.

The recent incidents are the latest in a series of hacks of several government websites. The DownSec hackers crashed websites of the prime minister, Senate, the defense ministry and a number of political parties.

The hackers have successfully carried out denial-of-service attacks (or DDoS attacks) meaning the public websites were unaccessible for a period of time. “The volume of traffic [directed at the governmental websites] was unusually high, which forced us to intervene,” said De Bruycker.

He said this was the first time Belgian authorities were faced with such a high volume of traffic in a DDoS attack.

But agencies claimed the hackers did not gain access to internal data or servers, according to Davina Luyten of Belnet, who runs the Cyber Emergency Team’s website.

Source: http://www.politico.eu/article/belgium-government-agencies-plagued-hackers-downsec-ddos-attacks-cyber-crime/

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