Oct 11, 2022
Russian Hackers Claim Responsibility In Cyberattack On US Airports Transcript
The Pro-Russian group known as Killnet has been targeting countries supporting Ukraine, including the United States. Read the transcript here.
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This morning, we’re learning more about an alarming rise in cyber attacks targeting key US institutions. The latest happened just yesterday when more than a dozen websites for major airports, including LAX and Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson, were temporarily knocked offline. Pro Russian hackers now claiming responsibility. NBC’s technology correspondent Jacob Ward joins us with the latest. It sounds kind of scary. How significant were those attacks, Jake?
Jacob Ward: (00:27)
Well Hoda, the good news and the bad news is basically that in this case, the good news is essentially, this was an annoyance more than anything really fundamental. The more than a dozen airports that you mentioned were simply overwhelmed by traffic to their public facing websites. They did not get inside things like air traffic control systems or the scheduling systems that would’ve really brought an airport to its knees. Also, only a very small number of airports were affected all told. This one, Oakland International, was not among those affected.
Jacob Ward: (00:59)
Now, here’s the bad news. The bad news is this is an increase in hostilities we are seeing here, and it seems to be coming from pro-Kremlin hackers, whose point here seems to be to try to inflict pain, or at least annoyance on countries that have been supportive of Ukraine. Today, they shut down a set of websites. Tomorrow, it could be something more sinister, Hoda.
Yeah. Something needs to be done, but the question is, how do you prevent these kind of attacks?
Jacob Ward: (01:27)
Well, we know at this point that CIS or the cyber agency that coordinates the response says that they are looking into this and assisting. The Department of Transportation did not offer comment on this particular case. At this point, it’s a reminder that really we are only as well protected as the least protected parts of our essential infrastructure. We’ve seen in recent weeks schools and regional hospitals fall prey to ransomware attacks. Those are much more serious kinds of attacks. But airports fortunately seem to have buttoned up a pretty good IT protocol. So it’s just a reminder, again, that we are only as well protected as the least protected nodes. Hopefully essential infrastructure does not come under attack from something more sinister down the line, Hoda.
Yeah. All right, Jake. It’s good that no flights were affected, things like that, but again, those websites. All right. Thank you, Jake.
Speaker 3: (02:11)
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