Crimea warns of internet outages after DDoS attacks on local telecom operators

Local authorities in Crimea are warning of internet disruptions from distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks targeting telecommunications providers.

“Massive” DDoS attacks, which have overwhelmed targeted networks with a deluge of spam internet traffic, were launched against Crimean telecom companies on Wednesday and are still ongoing, according to Crimean officials.

“We are working to repel the attacks. There may be interruptions in the provision of Internet services,” said Oleg Kryuchkov, the adviser to the Crimea region, which has been occupied by Russian forces since 2014.

In Crimea’s largest city, Sevastopol, the attackers mostly targeted local internet provider Miranda Media, which is affiliated with Russia’s national telecom provider Rostelecom. Miranda Media was sanctioned by the European Union in 2023 for providing services to illegal authorities and institutions in Crimea in the interests of Russia.

Some local subscribers complained on the company’s Telegram channel that their internet connection has been “terrible” for the past two days, but Miranda Media has not released an official statement about the outages. The company did not respond to a request for comment.

“The enemy attacks this particular operator for a reason,” a spokesman for the Sevastopol government said on Telegram. Miranda Media provides the “primary communication channels” for the city’s emergency call center, they added.

The attack temporarily disrupted the operation of the call center, but local authorities announced on Thursday that they have restored its functionality.

Ukraine’s military intelligence (HUR) claimed responsibility on Wednesday for cyber attacks on “several of Russia’s largest Internet providers” operating in Crimea, but did not provide additional details.

An anonymous source at HUR told the Ukrainian public broadcaster that the agency “systematically” attacks Russian digital infrastructure, including internet providers.

In May, Ukrainian military hackers claimed responsibility for an attack on a major Internet provider in the Russian city of Belgorod, located about 20 miles north of the Ukrainian border. The target company is suspected of providing services to state and military institutions.

Attacks on Russian Internet providers are also carried out by other hacker groups linked to Ukraine. Last October, a group of cyber activists known as the IT Army claimed responsibility for taking down Miranda Media and two other Russian Internet providers operating in Crimea.

At the time, Miranda Media stated that the attack was “carefully planned by cybercriminals”.

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