Austrian parliament says Turkish hackers claim cyber-attack
VIENNAThe Austrian parliament said on Feb. 7 that a Turkish hackers’ group had claimed responsibility for a cyber-attack that brought down its website for 20 minutes this weekend.
Aslan Neferler Tim (ANT), or Lion Soldiers Team, whose website says it defends the homeland, Islam, the nation and flag, without any party political links, claimed the attack, a parliamentary spokeswoman said, Reuters reported.
Relations between Turkey and Austria soured last year after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan cracked down on dissent following a failed coup attempt in July 2016, and Vienna has since made a solo charge within the European Union for accession talks to be dropped.
On its Facebook page on the afternoon of Feb. 5, above a screenshot indicating the website was not loading, ANT said in Turkish: “Our reaction will be harsh in response to this racism of Austria against Muslims!!! (Parliament down).”
ANT says it has carried out “operations” against the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the Austrian central bank and an Austrian airport.
An Interior Ministry spokesman said on Feb. 7 that an investigation had begun into the cyber-attack and, declining to elaborate further, noted that no data had been lost.
A parliamentary spokeswoman said: “ANT has claimed responsibility.” When asked if ANT was responsible, she said: “We assume so.”
The website was brought down after the server was flooded with service requests, a so-called DDoS-attack, similar to an attack last November that targeted the Foreign Affairs and Defense Ministries’ websites, a statement from parliament said.
DDoS attacks are among the most common cyber threats. One such attack targeted the European Commission’s computers in November last year.
The Vienna-based Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) was also recently the target of a cyber-attack.