Russian-speaking hackers claim responsibility for knocking US states’ websites offline
A Russian-speaking hacking group on Wednesday claimed responsibility for knocking a number of U.S. state government websites offline, according to news reports.
Government websites in Colorado, Mississippi and Kentucky were impacted Wednesday, CNN reported, including a Kentucky Board of Elections site with information on voter registration, though the group had not specifically listed the latter as a target.
A Telegram post from the group Killnet included the state websites in a list of targets it planned to hit with service disruptions, according to translations. The list also included government pages from Florida, Alabama, Delaware and Hawaii, among other states, as well as a U.S. tax payment site.
Connecticut’s sites were also among those disrupted Wednesday, according to Newsweek.
The group shared to Telegram a photo captioned in English with “USA OFFLINE” and “F— NATO” over a graphic of a nuclear explosion surrounding the Statue of Liberty.
Colorado said Wednesday that its government homepage was taken offline in a cyberattack “by an anonymous suspected foreign actor.” As of Thursday, the homepage was still down, but the Colorado governor’s office said online access had not been compromised and that services were still operational.
The hacking group has claimed responsibility for cyberattacks against a number of targets in the U.S. and elsewhere, including disruptions earlier this year of public and private sector sites in Lithuania and an attempted attack against sites in Estonia.
The Russian-speaking hackers appear to back the Kremlin, but their exact ties to the Russian government are murky.
— Updated at 6:40 p.m.