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  • Marijan Hassan - Tech Journalist

Pro-Russian Hackers Threaten Online Disruption During EU Elections

As voting begins in the European Parliament elections, a pro-Russian hacktivist group called NoName57(16) has threatened cyberattacks against European internet infrastructure. The group, formed after the Ukraine invasion, claims seven others will join them in punishing the EU for sanctions and alleged inaction over the Donbas conflict.

Details are scarce, but past attacks by NoName and similar groups suggest distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks are likely. These bombard websites with traffic, making them inaccessible. While previous NoName targets were Ukrainian media, they've also hit European sites in retaliation for Ukraine support.

The threat comes amid warnings of pro-Russian hackers targeting critical infrastructure like water systems. Government agencies in the US, UK, and Canada issued alerts in May. Security experts believe some of these hacktivists might be linked to Russia's Sandworm group, a state-sponsored cyberwarfare unit.

The European Parliament hasn't commented on the threats, but Dutch political parties reported DDoS attacks before their June 6th elections. HackNet, a group linked to NoName, claimed responsibility.

Responding to the news, Mandiant chief analyst John Hultquist cautioned against people overstating these attacks as it would be playing into the hackers' games. He believes these attacks aim to sow doubt in election security, not cause major disruption. "We should prepare," he says, "but not do their work for them. Their goal is to create a bigger impact than the attacks themselves."


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