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US Airport Websites Knocked Offline by Pro-Russia Hackers

A pro-Russian hacktivist group is claiming credit for a series of disruptions that temporarily knocked the websites of some US airports offline.

The group, called Killnet, has engaged in a series of cyberattacks in recent months against Western targets, including incidents that temporarily rendered some state government websites offline last week, according to cybersecurity officials.

 

Los Angeles International Airport issued a statement saying its website was partially disrupted and that the interruption was limited to portions of the public facing website. There were no disruptions to internal airport systems nor were there any operational difficulties, according to the statement.

The site for LaGuardia Airport was also affected, in addition to Des Moines International Airport, ABC News reported.

Websites for O’Hare and Midway airports in Chicago were offline Monday, according to a statement from the Chicago Department of Aviation, but no airport operations were affected.

On Killnet’s Telegram channel, the group claims to have launched attacks against dozens of US airports though it wasn’t immediately clear how many of the airports were actually hit and whether the victims suffered any disruptions.

The Transportation Security Administration, which oversees airport security, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The Federal Aviation Administration declined to comment, referring questions to TSA.

The FAA’s air-traffic website showed no indications of any flight disruptions from the cyberattacks. Similarly, the tracking website FlightAware.com showed relatively few delays or flight cancellations across the country.

 

The FAA’s air-traffic computers are designed to remain off the internet and have dedicated data transmission and communication lines to ensure they are safe from hacking.

Killnet mostly deploys distributed denial of service attacks, known as DDoS, which direct large amounts of junk online traffic toward a website or server to knock it offline. Last week, the group waged cyberattacks against as many as 15 state websites, according to Check Point Research Technologies Ltd.