Dutch ports’ websites offline for hours, days due to pro-Russian cyber attacks

Pro-Russian hackers have targeted several Dutch ports’ websites with cyber attacks in the past week. The DDoS attacks have knocked several ports’ websites offline for several hours or even days. NoName057(16) claimed the attacks in response to the Netherlands’ intention to buy Swiss tanks for Ukraine, RTL Nieuws reports.

The port authorities of Groningen, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Den Helder confirmed the DDoS attacks to the broadcaster. In such a cyberattack, a website or server is flooded with requests until it crashes. The websites of the port authorities in Rotterdam, Amsterdam, and Den Helder were offline for several hours last week Tuesday. And the Groningen Seaport website was offline throughout the past weekend.

According to the Port of Rotterdam Authority, the attacks were carried out from Russian and Serbian IP addresses. They did no more damage than taking down the website for a while. “For us, the website is important because we can inform the public, but we are not dependent on the website,” the spokesperson said. Systems for handling shipping were never in danger – they run on other servers.

According to Tom Hegel, an American researcher at the cyber security company SentinelOne, NoName057(16) is a small group of hacktivists who started carrying out cyber attacks, mainly DDoS attacks, after Russia invaded Ukraine. This group’s goal seems to be aiding Russia. “If someone does something that antagonizes Russia, they are a target,” Hegel told RTL.

NoName057(16) often targets the banking sector, private companies that supply the Defense industry, and logistics companies in NATO member states, Hegel said. “They use amateurish tools, but they are effective. It works well enough to achieve their goal: take websites offline and, above all, get attention. And then they brag about their successes in their Telegram channels.”

About the attacks on Dutch ports’ websites, NoName057(16) wrote: “The Netherlands wants to buy Leopard 1s to deliver to Ukraine. By the way, according to the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, 8 Leopard 1 tanks have already been destroyed. Bring the next one!”

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