Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

Cyberattacks force over a dozen US airport websites offline

Los Angeles international airport.

Russian-speaking hackers claim responsibility that targeted about 14 public-facing websites, including LaGuardia and O’Hare airports

Websites for more than a dozen US airports were temporarily brought offline by cyberattacks on Monday morning, with Russian-speaking hackers claiming responsibility for the disruption.

About 14 public-facing websites for a number of sizable airports, including LaGuardia airport in New York City, were targeted and inaccessible to the public. Most have since been brought back online.

A senior official told ABC News that the attacks did not affect air traffic control, internal airport communication or other key operations. But the official said that the interruption caused an “inconvenience” for travelers attempting to access information.

“It’s an inconvenience,” said the unnamed source, adding that the cyberattacks caused a “denial of public access” to public websites that report airport wait times and capacity information.

The hack has been attributed to a group known as Killnet, Russian hacktivists who support the Kremlin but are not thought to directly be government actors, according to CNN. The group favors distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, which work by flooding computer servers with traffic to render them non-functional.

Officials first learned of the issue about 3am ET on Monday, when the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency received word that LaGuardia’s system had been hit, ABC News reported.

Other targeted airports included Chicago’s O’Hare international airport and Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson international airport.

The Los Angeles international airport website also appeared to be affected by the cyberattack, CNN reported.

A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) spokesperson told CNN that the agency is monitoring the issue and assisting affected airports.

A similar attack also targeted communication networks in Germany’s railway systems, causing massive service disruptions in the northern part of the country.

But officials have not tied the cyberattack to any foreign state, Reuters reported.


By Chala Dandessa

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