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A pro-Russian hacker group is believed to be responsible for taking down NSHQ’s websites.

NATO websites were targeted by a cyberattack on Sunday, German news agency dpa reported, citing the bloc’s spokesperson, Oana Lungescu.

According to the report, the hacker attack struck several websites at once. The bloc’s spokesperson noted that the alliance’s cyber experts were actively investigating the incident.

The news agency says that some information on social media suggested that “pro-Russian activists” were allegedly behind the attack on the website of NATO Special Operations Headquarters (NSHQ), which was temporarily unavailable. In particular, the blame was pinned on “the Russian hacker group KillNet,” according to the dpa.

NATO Special Operations Headquarters was formed after the 2006 NATO Summit in Riga and “provides strategic advice, enables development, and synchronises activities to deter threats and defend the NATO Alliance”, according to its website.

Clues found on social media

AZGeopolitics, an alternative news site, used their Twitter account to post some insights into the alleged KillNet NATO operation.

“”My strike on the Ramstein base, yours are waiting”-KILLNET” was a quote that they allegedly intercepted from the KillNet gang. This, according to AZ, was the KillNet team announcing “the start of Attacks on all NATO departments”.

KillNet is a gang of “hacktivists” that was found to be tied to the Russian military by Google. They became active at the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and most recently were blamed for a hacking attack on the European Parliament in response to that body’s designating Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism”. At that time, the European Parliament website was taken offline for several hours by a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack attributed to KillNet.

The group’s targets have included police departments, airports and governments in Lithuania, Germany, Italy, Romania, Norway and the United States.

As the AZGeopolitics Tweet woulds suggest, the KillNet group is now thought to also be attacking NATO websites. Aside from the Tweet, however, no other evidence substantiating this claim has been provided, according to dpa.