A series of distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks shut down nine Danish hospitals’ websites for a few hours on Sunday, but did not have any life-threatening impact on the medical centers’ operations or digital infrastructure.
Copenhagen’s health authority confirmed the outages in a tweet, and directed patients to an emergency page with the hospitals’ phone numbers.
“Region H the hospitals’ websites are down,” it read, in Danish. “We are working on getting the websites up and running again. The rest of our digital infrastructure is not affected by the incident.”
A few hours later, the health authority reported that all nine hospitals’ websites were up and running again.
A group of miscreants called Anonymous Sudan claimed responsibility for the network traffic flood on its Telegram page. “Some hospitals in Denmark have been attacked for burning the Quran, and more will be attacked in the coming hours,” the group wrote.
In January, Rasmus Paludan – a far-right Swedish-Danish politician and convicted racist – burned a Quran in front of a mosque in Denmark.
Anonymous Sudan, as the name would suggest, claims to be based in Sudan and affiliated with an earlier group of the same name that traces its roots to a 2019 military coup.
However, security researchers say the 2023 hacktivists are likely Russian or located in former Soviet Union countries with ties to Killnet – another second-rate hacktivist crew that sprang up as a pro-Russia DDoS gang during the Ukraine war.
Last month, Anonymous Sudan took credit for a series of DDoS attacks against the websites of the German foreign intelligence service and the Cabinet of Germany, in support of Killnet.
Killnet, on its Russian-language Telegram channels, had urged fellow pro-Kremlin hackers to launch these traffic tsunamis against German infrastructure and government websites in response to the country’s plan to send tanks to Ukraine.
While Anonymous Sudan and others heeded the call, the attacks were largely in vain, according to Germany’s cyber security agency.
Earlier this month, the same criminal gang claimed responsibility for attacks on Swedish websites, including the national broadcaster SVT and the Swedish health service, according to Denmark news outlet The Local.
Last week, Radio Sweden reported that a group of private Swedish cybersecurity firms took down 61 servers belonging to Anonymous Sudan that were hosted in Germany on IBM’s cloud service. ®
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