A group of Russia-affiliated hackers acting under the banner of Killnet hit several Lithuanian government websites last week.
According to a video message published by the group’s Telegram channel, the attacks would be a response to Lithuanian sanctions on Russia following the country’s military invasion of Ukraine earlier this year.
The video demanded that Lithuania allow the transit of goods to Kaliningrad if it wanted to avoid further disruption to its government institutions and private businesses’ internet infrastructure.
Among the websites taken down by Killnet are Lithuania’s State Tax Inspectorate (STI), and B1.lt, one of the country’s largest accounting service providers, both of which are still offline at the time of writing.
Killnet also claimed to have taken down Lithuania’s e-government services, including the national police’s one, but both sites seem to be now functional.
For context, before the start of the war, the name ‘Killnet’ referred to a DDoS tool offered to threat actors on the dark web.
The hacking group, eventually identified as Killnet, reportedly made extensive use of this tool, renting several botnets for $1350 per month, which had a reported capacity of 500GB per second.
Fast forward to April, the pro-Russia hacking group has been active since the beginning of the 2022 Russia-Ukraine conflict, with Five Eyes agencies issuing warnings against it in the same month.
“U.S., Australian, Canadian, New Zealand, and UK cybersecurity authorities urge critical infrastructure network defenders to prepare for and mitigate potential cyber threats—including destructive malware, ransomware, [distributed denial of service] (DDoS) attacks, and cyber espionage—by hardening their cyber defenses and performing due diligence in identifying indicators of malicious activity,” read the advisory.
Since then, Killnet was blamed for cyber-attacks on Romania, Germany, Czechia, Latvia and on the Eurovision Song Contest website during Ukraine’s performance. The latter attack was foiled by the Italian Police.
Perhaps in retaliation for that, Killnet then targeted approximately 50 Italian institutions in May, including the council of the judiciary.
More recently, hacktivist group Anonymous declared cyber-war against Killnet, reportedly taking their website offline in May and hacking the Russian Ministry Website in June.