Russian hackers with cyberattacks on US airport websites

More than a dozen public airport websites, including those for some of the largest U.S. airports, appeared to be unavailable Monday morning, and Russian-language hackers claimed responsibility, CNN reported.

No immediate signs of an impact on actual air travel were reported, suggesting the issue may be an inconvenience to people seeking travel information.

“Obviously, we’re tracking this and there’s no concern about disruption to operations,” Kirsten Todd, chief of staff for the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), said Monday at a security conference in Sea Island, Georgia.

Among the 14 websites is that of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. An official there told CNN there were no operational impacts.

Los Angeles International Airport’s website was offline earlier but appeared to be back up shortly before 9 a.m.

The hacking group known as Killnet has named multiple US airports as targets. They have stepped up their activities against organizations in NATO countries since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February. The hackers are politically motivated to support the Kremlin, but ties to Moscow are unknown.

The group claimed responsibility last week for a cyberattack on state government websites. Killnet has been blamed for the brief disruption of the US Congressional website in July and for cyberattacks against organizations in Lithuania after the country blocked the delivery of goods to the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad in June.

The type of cyberattack used by Killnet is known as “distributed denial of service” (DDoS), in which hackers flood computer servers with fake web traffic to take them off the network.

“DDoS attacks are favored by actors of varying sophistication because they have visible results, but these incidents tend to be superficial and short-lived,” John Hultquist, vice president of Google-owned cybersecurity firm Mandiant, told CNN.

A spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration said the agency is monitoring the issue and working with airport partners.

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