Russian-backed Killnet Hackers Crash European Investment Bank’s Website

Key Insights:

  • European Investment Bank’s website is down following a cyberattack, possibly orchestrated by Russian hackers.
  • The attack is believed to have responded to the EU’s support for Ukraine amid Russian aggression.
  • Cybersecurity experts suspect the involvement of Killnet, a Russian hacker group with possible government connections.

In an unexpected twist, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the world’s largest multilateral lender, has been hit by a significant cyber attack. On June 19, the EIB acknowledged through a tweet that its website was rendered inaccessible due to this sudden cyber onslaught. Presently, the website continues to remain unreachable.

The EU’s Steadfast Support for Ukraine Spurs Cyber Reprisal?

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The EIB’s fall prey to the cyber assault closely follows the European Commission’s and the EIB’s recent announcement. They gave an EU guarantee to permit the EIB to extend a generous loan of 100 million euros to Ukraine. This loan aims to expedite recovery efforts, including municipal and energy infrastructure repairs in Ukraine.

Continued aggression from Russia against Ukraine has led to significant human suffering and extensive damage to infrastructure. This situation has also prompted severe economic disruption. In response, the European Union and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have provided relief support for Ukraine since the onset of the war, with the EU offering up to 70 billion euros to assist Ukraine and its people.

The freshly guaranteed EIB loan supplementing the EU4Ukraine Fund is expected to provide additional support.

Killnet Strikes: A Direct Retaliation to EU’s Support for Ukraine?

In the wake of the attack, fingers are pointed at Russian hackers, especially after the threat issued by pro-Russian hackers. These hackers explicitly warned of targeting Western financial institutions owing to their support for Ukraine. The EIB’s recent cyber attack seems eerily correlated to this threat, raising suspicions about the involvement of the Russian-speaking hacker group, Killnet.

Killnet’s telegram post ominously hinted at impending issues with the IBAN banking system. They also ominously predicted the downfall of not just IBAN but also SEPA, WISE, and SWIFT.

Killnet is widely known for its expert use of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, where they strategically overload websites with traffic until they crash. In a disturbing development, leaders of hacker groups from Russia and Sudan allegedly convened a covert meeting in the darknet parliament just 72 hours earlier. They agreed on a plan called “SOLUTION №0191”, suggesting the intention to impose sanctions on European banking transfer systems, including SEPA, IBAN, WIRE, SWIFT, and WISE.

Many cyber security experts are drawing links between Killnet and the Russian government, raising eyebrows on the extent of Russia’s cyber warfare capabilities.

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This attack is a grim reminder of the digital age’s vulnerabilities and the emergent need for robust cybersecurity measures to safeguard global finance systems.