Russian ministry says it’s ‘recording unprecedented attacks’ on government websites

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Russia’s digital development and communications ministry said in a statement on Thursday it is “recording unprecedented attacks” on government websites and state-run news outlets amid Russia’s invasion in Ukraine, The Washington Post reported.

“We are recording unprecedented attacks on the websites of government authorities,” the Russian ministry said, according to the newspaper. “If their capacity at peak times reached 500 GB earlier, it is now up to 1 TB. That is, two to three times more powerful than the most serious incidents of this type previously recorded.”

The Russian ministry said traffic from outside of the country was being filtered, but it did not go into specifics about how this was being done, The Post noted. 

Internet regulator Roskomnadzor, Russia’s Ministry of Culture and the Federal Penitentiary Service all had their websites hacked earlier this month, in addition to others.

Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry appeared to have its website hacked this week, with a number that Russian soldiers could call if they wanted to leave the military replacing a hotline number previously listed on the site, The Post reported.

The digital development and communications ministry said on Feb. 26 that over 50 denial-of-service attacks had hit Gosuslugi, the Russian public services portal, the newspaper noted.

Meanwhile, shortly after the invasion began, an ad urging Russians to protest the war was posted on the Russian state-run media outlet Tass, which was also hacked.

The developments come more than three weeks after Russia launched its attack in Ukraine, which has been widely condemned internationally and prompted more than 3 million people to flee Ukraine.

The Hill has reached out to the Russian government’s Press Service and Information Department for comment.

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