Pro-Russian hackers attack institutional websites in Italy - police

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, many Western governments have raised alert levels in anticipation of possible cyber attacks on IT systems and infrastructure.

 A Russian flag is seen on the laptop screen in front of a computer screen on which cyber code is displayed, in this illustration picture taken March 2, 2018. (photo credit: REUTERS/KACPER PEMPEL/ILLUSTRATION/FILE PHOTO)
A Russian flag is seen on the laptop screen in front of a computer screen on which cyber code is displayed, in this illustration picture taken March 2, 2018.
(photo credit: REUTERS/KACPER PEMPEL/ILLUSTRATION/FILE PHOTO)

Pro-Russian hackers have attacked the websites of several Italian institutions and government ministries, the police said on Friday.

At 0800 GMT it was still not possible to access the websites of the Italian foreign ministry and its national magistrates association.

The attack was launched at around 2000 GMT on Thursday by the hacker group "Killnet," Italian cybersecurity group Yarix said in a statement.

A similar attack took place on May 11, and last weekend police said they had thwarted a cyber-assault on the latter stages of the Eurovision Song Contest in Turin which ended on Saturday with the victory of Ukraine's entry.

 Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine appear on stage after winning the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, Italy, May 15, 2022. (credit: Yara Nardi/Reuters) Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine appear on stage after winning the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, Italy, May 15, 2022. (credit: Yara Nardi/Reuters)

The police attributed both attacks to the Killnet group and its affiliate Legion.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, many Western governments have raised alert levels in anticipation of possible cyber attacks on IT systems and infrastructure.

Russia routinely denies it carries out offensive cyber operations.