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DDoS Attacks Targeting NATO Members Increasing

by Richard Hummel on


As the effects of COVID-19 and inflated numbers of DDoS attacks have settled into some semblance of normalcy, it has been all out DDoS war for Finland, Hungary, and Turkey. You may ask why these nations are experiencing this. The answer lies in the fallout of the Russo-Ukranian war, as these three nations all have been instrumental in getting Finland and Ukraine to join NATO. 

In the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Finland and Sweden abandoned long-held policies of military non-alignment and took steps to join NATO, with opposition from Turkey, which Hungary echoed. Sweden and Finland were hoping to join at the same time, but that has not come to fruition as Finland was approved to join NATO on April 4th, 2023 while Sweden’s bid hangs in the balance. 

NETSCOUT has seen geopolitical events cause an increase in DDoS attacks with notable increases in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine back in February 2022. That initial increase was directed mainly towards Russia, Ukraine, Ireland, and Finland. These nations were either directly involved in the conflict or took actions in the wake of the invasion that sparked these attacks, whether they were politically motivated, feats of hactivism, or other causes. 

Finland, Turkey, and Hungary Currently Seeing Increases in DDoS Attacks

Finland has been a target of DDoS attacks throughout their months-long process of joining NATO, with significant spikes in June, late October, and late December. According to TechRepublic, the most recent significant DDoS attack as of the writing of this article was on April 4th, the day Finland joined NATO. Pro-Russian hacker group NoName057(16) has taken credit for the attack targeted towards the Finnish Parliament website along with the Technical Research Centre of Finland, according to Finnish news outlet, YLE

Turkey has seen similar spikes in December and April. These attacks appear to have a variety of motivations, which include disrupting earthquake relief and response to NATO activities. The most recent spike, which is currently happening, aligns with the ratification of Finland’s bid to join NATO. 

Even bigger spikes are occurring against Hungary. DDoS attacks against the nation have showed consistent growth since September 2022, peaking in mid-January. Hungary’s following of Turkey in the ratification of Finland joining NATO is just one potential motivation for DDoS attacks against the country and its organizations.  

The Global DDoS Landscape Remains a Volatile Place

This is just the beginning of what’s to come, as Sweden is still awaiting approval to join NATO. 

Ukraine is currently a partner country with NATO, but not a full member, a detail these and other countries are looking to change.  NETSCOUT is keeping their ears to the ground with their team of DDoS experts, ASERT, actively monitoring the volatile DDoS landscape on a continuous basis. Learn more about the DDoS occurrences in the second half of 2022 in NETSCOUT’s latest Threat Intelligence Report