Swiss government websites were taken offline through the use of targeted distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks ahead of a video address by Ukranian President, Volodymyr Zelensky.
DDoS attacks disrupt sites by overwhelming their infrastructure with a large amount of internet traffic. As DDoS attacks overwhelm a site’s bandwidth, this prevents users from accessing it.
The disruption to the Swiss government sites was discovered on June 12, as the Swiss parliament prepared for a video address by President Zelensky.
The address in scheduled for June 15, which is also a national holiday in Russia. The Swiss National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) reported that “various websites of the Federal Administration and enterprises affiliated with the Confederation were unavailable” due to the DDoS attacks launched against them.
The NCSC said that it will be attempting to reduce disruption and return to normalcy by “taking measures to restore accessibility to the websites and applications as quickly as possible”. It also said that it will be “analyzing the attack together with the administrative units concerned and defining appropriate measures”.
Pro-Russia hackers have since come out as the perpetrators of the DDoS attacks, with Russian hacking group NoName claiming the attack. In a post via messaging service Telegram, the group said the DDoS attack was launched against the parliament’s website to “thank Swiss Russophobes” for taking on another EU sanctions package against Moscow.
The group also claimed that it had defended Russia “on the information front” by launching additional DDoS attacks against the websites for Switzerland’s police force and justice ministry. NoName added that it will continue to defend Russia in this manner.