As per reports by a Senior Official, primary US airports have been targeted in a series of cyber-attacks which caused major vexation. However, flight operations remained unaffected with no impacts on airport operations and harm to Air Traffic Control (ATC), security or internal airline communications. The Senior Official briefed that the attacks came from the Russian Federation. The LaGuardia Airport reported that the initial attack took place around 03:00 EST but the website has been restored since then. Other airports that were affected are Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Des Moines International Airport, Chicago O’ Hare Airport (ORD), and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL). The Atlanta Airport announced at 10.30 EST that the website was restored as a result no airport operations have been affected.
According to reports by CNN, Killnet- a hacking group has listed US airports as its target since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It has been assessed that the organisations in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) were targeted by this group. The previous week, responsibility was claimed by the group for knocking on the websites of the US state and temporarily disabling the US congress website in July. As per reports, a plenitude of US airports was affected by the Killnet group but the group is still unsure of the extent to which the disruptions have been caused.
LAX reported to Simple Flying that earlier in the morning the FlyLax.com website was disrupted partially and no operational disruptions were caused. However, the information technology team worked for restoring the operations and investigating the cause. The Transport Security Administration and FBI were notified about the disruptions caused in the airports. As per reports, the attack employed by Killlnet is a “distributed denial of service” (DDoS). The websites were flooded with fake traffic to overwhelm the servers and the systems. Differing from a normal denial-of-service (DoS) attack, a DDoS attack makes use of multiple devices for knocking out a website and fulfilling its goal. Generally, in normal DoS attacks, only one device is considered to be sufficient for overwhelming a website.