A pro-Russian hacking group, identified as NoName057(16), has asserted responsibility for a series of cyberattacks targeting government and public services websites in France and the Netherlands. These attacks have occurred shortly after similar actions against Spanish and Italian government and private sector entities involving distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) tactics.
While Dutch cybersecurity officials have characterized the impact of these DDoS attacks as “limited and symbolic,” concerns about escalating cyber threats have arisen since the onset of the Ukraine conflict, with a surge in hacktivist activities affecting Dutch organizations and corporations.
NoName057(16) specifically listed high-profile targets in the Netherlands, including the Dutch public transport website, local bank SNS, the Groningen seaport, and the municipality of Vlardingen, causing these websites to remain inaccessible due to the flood of junk traffic inherent to DDoS attacks.
Earlier in June, the group had targeted the ports in the Dutch cities of Rotterdam and Groningen, reinforcing their intent to disrupt critical infrastructure. Meanwhile, French institutions have also fallen victim to this wave of cyberattacks, with the country’s customs service and financial regulator’s websites being temporarily rendered unavailable, prompting concerns about data security and potential breaches.
NoName057(16) has a history of cyber operations against Ukraine and its allies, previously launching attacks against Poland’s tax service website and the websites of Czech presidential election candidates.
Although the impact of their DDoS attacks has been deemed “short-lived disruption with little to no wider consequence” by cybersecurity researchers at SentinelOne, the strategic targeting of critical services and infrastructure raises broader concerns about the group’s intent and capabilities. Utilizing a DDoS attack toolkit named DDoSia, NoName057(16) has demonstrated a capacity to target government agencies, media, and private entities across multiple European countries, highlighting the ongoing need for robust cybersecurity measures to mitigate such threats.