Pro-Russian hackers attacked the websites of several Italian institutions, including the Senate, ANSA news agency reported on Wednesday.
The hacking group “Killnet” claimed to have carried out the attack, which also targeted the National Institute of Health (ISS) and the Italian Auto Club, a national association of drivers, ANSA said.
Websites for the Senate, the Italian upper house and the International Space Station were back online at 8pm (1800 GMT or 11.30pm IST). An hour ago, they couldn’t be accessed.
Senate President Elisabetta Casellati said on Twitter that the hacking did not cause any damage.
“These are serious incidents and should not be underestimated,” she wrote.
The Ministry of Defense, which was unable to access its website, said in a statement that this was “due to the ongoing long-planned maintenance activities on the site.”
A source at Italy’s cybersecurity agency told Reuters they were working with affected governments to restore the sites and to come up with “the first appropriate technical countermeasures”.
Police said an investigation was underway but had no further comment.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, many Western governments have raised their alert levels against possible cyberattacks on IT systems and infrastructure.
In late March, Italian railway company Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane (FS) temporarily stopped some ticketing services, fearing it had been the target of a cyberattack.
In April, the Ministry of Ecological Transformation said it had to shut down all IT systems due to external threats.
© Thomson Reuters 2022