Prosecutors confirmed that the failed cyber attack on Brussels airport a few hours after dramatic 2016 bombings in Belgium’s capital was launched by a US minor.
On March 2016, suicide bombers attacked Zaventem airport and a metro station in the Belgium capital causing Thirty-two people died.
“Many more were injured in the attacks. The toll did not include three bombers who died. So-called Islamic State said it was behind the attacks.” reported the BBC.
The US youngster, a 14 years old based in Pittsburgh, has admitted having launched a cyber attack on the systems at the Brussels airport.
The young hacker launched a cyber attack against the airport’s computer system on the night of 22-23 March 2016, but the cyber incursion failed.
“In a statement on Thursday, Belgium’s federal prosecutors say the attempt to take down Zaventem’s website and hack into the airport’s computer system on the night of 22-23 March 2016 was unsuccessful.” continues the BBC.
The Belgium authorities conducted a joint investigation with the FBI that allowed them to identify the US minor, who “confessed having committed the acts”.
The cyber attack has “no terrorist motives” and according to prosecutors, it was not related to the Brussel bombings.
According to the prosecutors, the FBI identified and interrogated a minor of American nationality who “confessed having committed the acts”.
“From the investigation and the first analyses of the seized hardware it appeared that there were no terrorist motives,” the statement added.
The prosecutors say avoided to disclose further information on the case because the investigation is ongoing.
Let me close with an observation on the case:
The lack of perception for a cyber crime. The vast majority of youngsters hack out of boredom or to satisfy their egos, but completely ignores the consequences of a cyber attack. These attacks can have serious consequences, especially in conjunction with tragic events such as those that occurred in Brussels. It is necessary to instill awareness in young people and stimulate debate on cyber issues.
Youngsters could be easily manipulated by threat actors (i.e. terrorists, nation-state actors, cyber criminals) and we cannot underestimate the effectiveness of their activities in the cyber space. Young guys are precious resources for the modern society, but unaware boys could represent a dangerous threat.
(Security Affairs – Brussels airport, hacking)