The websites if a Swedish were shut down in the weekend due to an “extremely dangerous and serious” cyber attack.
The websites hit by the hackers are the Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet, Expressen, Aftonbladet, Dagens Industri, Sydsvenskan and Helsingborgs Dagblad. The website went down on Saturday evening from about 19:00 GMT until about 22:00 GMT.
The news was confirmed by the head of the Swedish Media Publishers’ Association, Jeanette Gustafsdotter, in an interview with the Swedish news agency TT.
“To threaten access to news coverage is a threat to democracy,” she said.
At the time I was writing no one has claimed responsibility for the cyber attack and there are no details about the attacks. Experts speculate that threat actors coordinated a distributed denial-of-services (DDoS) attacks against the websites of the Swedish media agencies.
Immediately before the attacks a Twitter account posted the following messages:
“The following days attacks against the Swedish government and media spreading false propaganda will be targeted” tweeted @_notJ.
“This is what happends when you spread false propaganda. Aftonbladet.se
#offline @Aftonbladet” states another Tweet.
The Swedish Police and the intelligence are investigating the case. According to several sources on the Internet, the attacks originated from Russia.
@assarsson https://t.co/4BJMa8ysO9 – visar en solklar ökning av paket från flera ryska ISP in mot Netnod, och ökad trafik mot bl.a. IP-only
— Andreas Paulsson (@apaulsson) 19 marzo 2016
Plockade ut de portar där trafiken ökade kraftigt vid 20-tiden. Alla är ryska telecombolag. pic.twitter.com/SrURUHHjUg
— Sandra Foresti (@SandraForesti) 19 marzo 2016
(Security Affairs – Swedish Newspapers, hacking)