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European Parliament hit with ‘sophisticated’ cyberattack

FILE – European Parliament members meet in a plenary session on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022, in Strasbourg, eastern France. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias, File)

The European Parliament’s website was hit Wednesday with a “sophisticated” cyberattack claimed by a pro-Kremlin group, according to its president.

The Parliament had voted the same day to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism over its war on Ukraine.

“The @Europarl_EN is under a sophisticated cyberattack. A pro-Kremlin group has claimed responsibility… This, after we proclaimed Russia as a State-sponsor of terrorism,” European Parliament President Roberta Metsola said in a tweet.

“My response: #SlavaUkraini,” Metsola said, using Ukraine’s national salute, “Glory to Ukraine.”

Metsola said IT experts were working to protect the parliament’s systems and stave off the attack. The identity of the pro-Kremlin group claiming responsibility and the extent of the damage to the site has not yet been shared.

Cyberattacks add to complex international tensions as the Russia-Ukraine war wages on. Last month, Russian-speaking hackers claimed responsibility for knocking a number of U.S. state government websites offline.

Marcel Kolaja, a member and quaestor of the Parliament, said those at the institution “will do our best” to defend against the attack and also drew attention to the attack’s close proximity to the state sponsor of terrorism vote.

The Parliament adopted a resolution to hit Russia with the designation, which is largely symbolic, due to Russia’s “serious violations of international and humanitarian law” during the conflict with Ukraine, now in its ninth month. 

Moscow’s attacks against Ukrainian civilians and deliberate targeting of civilian infrastructure “amount to acts of terror and constitute war crimes,” according to the resolution.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday praised the Parliament’s decision.

“Russia must be isolated at all levels and held accountable in order to end its long-standing policy of terrorism in Ukraine and across the globe,” Zelensky said on Twitter.

Tags Cyberattack Marcel Kolaja Roberta Metsola Russia State sponsor of terrorism The European Parliament Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky Volodymyr Zelensky

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