Image: Unsplash/Alexandr Bormotin

Finland CERT reports record number of denial-of-service attacks

Finland’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) received more notifications in October about denial-of-service attacks than it has ever received before — equivalent to a quarter of what it normally is alerted to throughout an entire year.

Such attacks “rarely succeed in causing real and long-lasting damage,” the Kyberturvallisuuskeskus (Cyber Security Center) said in its cyber weather roundup for October.

The CERT — an official authority that sits under Finland’s transport and communications agency — had also received “a few notifications” about ransomware incidents, which have increased compared to last year as well.

Distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks have grown in popularity amid a surge in hacktivist activity around the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Such attacks flood websites with junk traffic in order to make them unreachable.

Pro-Ukrainian groups have been accused of being involved in “illegal operations” by Alexander Krutskikh, a spokesperson for Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Krutskikh alleged in June that “more than 65,000 ‘armchair hackers’ from the United States, Turkey, Georgia, and EU countries regularly took part in coordinated DDoS attacks” against Russian targets.

Pro-Russian groups such as Killnet recently targeted websites belonging to several state intelligence agencies across the former Eastern Bloc, though they didn’t cause significant damage.

The uptick in DDoS activity follows the head of the Finnish Security Intelligence Service warning it was “highly likely that Russia will turn to the cyber environment over the winter.”

However, the agency’s director Antti Pelttari said that the intelligence service considered it “unlikely that any cyberattack will paralyze critical infrastructure [in Finland] in the near future.”

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Alexander Martin

Alexander Martin

is the UK Editor for Recorded Future News. He was previously a technology reporter for Sky News and is also a fellow at the European Cyber Conflict Research Initiative.