Pro-Russian hackers have attacked the websites of several Italian institutions, including the Senate, the ANSA news agency reported on Wednesday.

The hacker group Killnet claimed responsibility for the attack, according to ANSA, which also targeted the National Institutes of Health (ISS) and the Automobile Club d’Italia, the national drivers’ association.

The websites of the Senate, the upper house of the Italian parliament and the ISS were online again at 20:00 (18:00 GMT, or 23:30 IST). An hour earlier, it had been impossible to access them.

Senate spokeswoman Elizabeth Caselati said on Twitter that the hacker attack did not cause any damage.

“These are serious incidents that should not be underestimated,” she wrote.

The defense ministry, whose website was not available, said in a statement that it was due to “long-planned maintenance activities that continue on the website”.

A source from the Italian Cyber ​​Security Agency told Reuters that they were working with the affected administrations to restore the websites, proposing “the first appropriate technical countermeasures.”

Police said the investigation is ongoing, but did not comment further.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, many Western governments have raised alarm levels in anticipation of possible cyberattacks against IT systems and infrastructure.

In late March, the Italian railway company Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane (FS) temporarily suspended some ticketing services, fearing it had been targeted by a cyber attack.

In April, the Ministry of Environmental Transition said it had to shut down all its IT systems due to external threats.

© Thomson Reuters 2022


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