Russian hackers claimed responsibility for cyberattacks that have temporarily knocked over a dozen of major US airports’ websites offline today, making them inaccessible to the public and causing an “inconvenience” for travelers attempting to access information, according to US officials.
Russian cyberattacks targeted 14 public-facing websites for numerous large US airports.
LaGuardia was apparently the first US airport to report problems to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) on Monday morning, when its website went offline at around 3am Eastern Standard Time.
Other targeted US airport facilities were Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport and Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
According to US officials, the cyberattacks did not affect air traffic control, internal airport communication or other key operations of the airport but caused a ‘denial of public access’ to public websites that report airport wait times and capacity information.
US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that it is monitoring the problem and assisting affected airports.
Today’s cyberattack has been attributed to Killnet – a group of Russian cyberterrorists who support the Kremlin but are not thought to directly be government actors.
The group primarily uses rather primitive denial of service (DDoS) attacks, which flood targeted computer servers with traffic to render them non-functional.
A similar attack targeted German railway system communication networks over the weekend, causing massive service disruptions in some parts of Germany.
Important communications cables were cut at two sites on Saturday, forcing rail services in the north to be halted for three hours and causing travel chaos for thousands of passengers.