Rotterdam: Europe’s Largest Port Targeted in Cyberattack Linked to Pro-Russian Hackers

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Rotterdam: Europe’s Largest Port Targeted in Cyberattack Linked to Pro-Russian Hackers


The port of Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port, fell victim to a cyberattack orchestrated by hackers affiliated with Russia, according to port authorities.

This incident comes after similar attacks on several Dutch ports, including Amsterdam and Groningen, where distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks disrupted online operations, Bloomberg reported.

The Dutch National Cyber Security Center provided the port of Rotterdam with information pointing to pro-Russian groups as the culprits behind the cyberattack.

(Photo : NICOLAS MAETERLINCK/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)
A cruise ship pictured during a visit to the Port of Rotterdam, part of a press visit to the Netherlands, Tuesday 06 June 2023, in Rotterdam.

Cyberattack on Port of Rotterdam

A DDoS attack is a malicious cyberattack that aims to disrupt the normal functioning of a target website, network, or online service by overwhelming it with a flood of illegitimate traffic. The objective is to make the targeted system unavailable to its intended users, causing inconvenience, financial losses, or reputational damage.

DDoS attacks work by utilizing multiple compromised devices, often forming a network of bots or zombies called a botnet. These compromised devices, which can include computers, servers, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, or even smartphones, are usually infected with malware or controlled by the attacker through other means.

Reports from Dutch news outlet RTL shed light on the motives behind the cyberattacks. A hacker group self-identified as “NoName057(16)” claimed responsibility, stating that the attacks were in response to the Netherlands’ plans to procure Swiss tanks for Ukraine.

Earlier this year, intelligence agencies had warned about Russia’s potential sabotage of Dutch maritime infrastructure. During the cyberattack, the port of Amsterdam’s website was rendered inaccessible for over an hour on June 6, while Groningen Seaports experienced disruptions that lasted two days.

Fortunately, no money was paid to the pro-Russian hackers, and there was no compromise of sensitive data, as confirmed by a port spokesperson.

Investigations revealed that the attacks originated from Russian and Serbian IP addresses. The port of Rotterdam obtained this information from its service provider, further supporting the attribution of the cyberattack to Russia-aligned hackers.

Read Also: Fake AI Chatbot Apps Are Spreading: Here’s How to Avoid Being Tricked

Major Breach Targets Tech Vendor

In a related cybersecurity news, a major breach targeted the systems of a technology vendor, resulting in the theft of approximately half a million personal health records. The breach affected Fortra, the vendor associated with Intellihartx, and has raised significant concerns about data security.

The stolen information encompassed a wide range of sensitive data, including patient names, addresses, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers. Such compromised information poses a serious risk to the affected individuals.

Moreover, the breach also exposed medical billing, insurance details, confidential diagnoses, and medication records. The gravity of this incident extends beyond Intellihartx, as Fortra’s GoAnywhere file-transfer software has become a prime target for cybercriminals.

Exploiting an undisclosed vulnerability in Fortra’s software, the cybercriminal group known as Clop infiltrated the networks of over a hundred organizations and companies, resulting in a widespread impact.

Among the notable victims of these aggressive cyberattacks were Hatch Bank, a digital financier; Rubrik, a renowned security firm; and even the City of Toronto.

Related Article: US Dental Health Insurance Firm Hit By Ransomware Attack: Nearly 9 Million Patients Exposed

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