The attacks were carried out by a pro-Russian hacker group known as Killnet, said John Hultquist, vice president of intelligence at US cybersecurity firm Montiant. Gilnet called for coordinated denial-of-service attacks on cyber targets from a list it posted on its Telegram channel — a list that included several major US airports. Denial of service attacks occur when a target is overwhelmed with traffic until it becomes unresponsive or crashes.
Although highly visible, Hultquist characterized such attacks as “general nuisances” rather than serious security threats because they do not target critical internal systems that could affect airport operations. Still, when they do take place, he said, they are effective in getting people’s attention.
Officials at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, which is charged with understanding, managing and mitigating risks to the nation’s cyber and physical infrastructure, did not respond to a request for comment on Monday.
The Port Authority of New York/New Jersey said LaGuardia Airport’s website experienced a denial of service incident around 3 a.m. Monday, resulting in intermittent delays for those trying to access the site.
“The Port Authority’s cybersecurity protection system did its job by quickly detecting the incident and resolving the issue within 15 minutes, and helped us alert others by immediately notifying federal authorities,” the company said in a statement. Any port authority facilities.
At Denver International Airport, the attack began around 11 a.m., officials said.
Los Angeles International Airport managers said in a statement that the airport’s website was partially affected and limited to public-facing areas of the site. The airport’s IT team has restored all services and is investigating the cause, they said.
“No internal airport systems were compromised and there were no operational disruptions,” the statement said.
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