European Parliament Website Hit By Cyber Attack After Vote Declaring Russia State Sponsor Of Terrorism

The official website of the European Parliament was hit by a cyber attack on Wednesday hours after it passed a resolution declaring Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism”, AFP reported. A pro-Kremlin group has claimed responsibility for the cyber attack, said Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament. 

“The European Parliament website is under a sophisticated cyberattack. A pro-Kremlin group has claimed responsibility. Our IT experts are pushing back against it and protecting our systems. This, after we proclaimed Russia as a State-sponsor of terrorism,” Metsola tweeted.

“My response: #SlavaUkraini,” Metsola added, referring to the slogan that means “Glory to Ukraine!”

READ | Ukraine War: European Parliament Declares Russia A ‘State Sponsor Of Terrorism’

The European Parliament’s chief spokesperson said the outage was due to “high levels of external network traffic”, according to Euronews website.

Another senior Parliament official said “it might be the most sophisticated attack that the Parliament has known so far”, Politico reported.

The attack was a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, in which massive amounts of traffic are sent to servers in an attempt to block internet users from accessing websites.

DDoS attacks are known to be a favorite instrument of Russian hacking groups, notably as a way to protest against political decisions in European countries to support Ukraine in the war, which entered its ninth month in November.

“We have a strong indication that it is from Killnet, the hackers with links to Russia. It only cut the external access to the Parliament’s website,” Politico quoted Eva Kaili, Greek member and vice president of the European Parliament, as saying.

Earlier in the day, the European Parliament voted to adopt a resolution calling Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism” and a state which uses “means of terrorism” over the “brutal and inhumane” acts inflicted upon Ukraine since the launch of its invasion earlier this year.

“The deliberate attacks and atrocities carried out by the Russian Federation against the civilian population of Ukraine, the destruction of civilian infrastructure and other serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law amount to acts of terror against the Ukrainian population and constitute war crimes,” MEPs said in a resolution.

“In the light of the above, (the European Parliament) recognises Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism and as a state which uses means of terrorism,” the resolution further said.

The resolution was approved with 494 votes in favour, 58 against and 44 abstentions.

(With inputs from agencies)