Trustwave SpiderLabs Uncovers Ov3r_Stealer Malware Spread via Phishing and Facebook Advertising. Learn More

Trustwave SpiderLabs Uncovers Ov3r_Stealer Malware Spread via Phishing and Facebook Advertising. Learn More

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SpiderLabs Blog

Killnet Claims Attacks Against Starlink, Whitehouse.gov, and United Kingdom Websites

Pro-Russian threat actor group Killnet claims to have launched DDoS attacks against Starlink and the United States’ government website whitehouse.gov. Starlink is a satellite internet service company operated by SpaceX. In 2019, SpaceX began launching Starlink satellites, and as of September 2022 is reported to have launched more than 3,000 satellites into low-Earth orbit (LEO). Starlink mainly focuses on delivering high-speed, low-latency broadband internet connections in remote and rural locations, globally. Ukraine’s access to the Internet via Starlink became a significant tool in defending against the Russian invasion, thus making it a target for Killnet. Both Starlink and SpaceX are owned by Elon Musk.

The site whitehouse.gov is the official website of the United States’ White House. The website is owned by the United States government.

Starlink

On their Telegram channel, Killnet stated that the purported DDoS attack against Starlink took place on November 18.

19293_picture1ss

Figure 1:  Killnet claims to have blocked Starlink login service.

Translation:

You've been waiting for this, comrades! ☺

🟢Collective DDOS attack on STARLINK!

- No one can log into STARLINK

- Blocking the main API - STARLINK

- Tons of gigabytes of digital shit poured into the STARLINK database

🟢KILLNET TEAM RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ATTACK:

KILLMILK | MSIDSTRESS | RADIS | ANONYMOUS RUSSIAN | MIRAI | HALVA

It appears that media outlets have not yet picked up on news of the DDoS attack targeting Starlink. However, on November 18, Starlink users posted complaints on Reddit about their inability to log into Starlink.

19294_picture2ss

Figure 2: A user started a thread in Reddit noting the inability to log into Starlink on November 18.

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Figure 3: More users note the inability to log into Starlink on November 18.

Access to Starlink accounts was reportedly offline for several hours on November 18. Starlink is widely used by Ukrainian forces as a mobile communication Internet service since much of the country has experienced blackouts, no Internet service, and no cell phone communication during the Russian invasion.

Killnet and hacker groups Msidstress, Radis, Anonymous Russian, Mirai, and Halva claim responsibility for the DDoS attack targeting Starlink.

This is not the first joint operation between Killnet and their partners. On November 17, just one day prior to the DDoS attack against Starlink, Killnet claimed to have launched a “test” DDoS attack against the US government website whitehouse.gov.

Whitehouse.gov

November 17

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Figure 4: Killnet claims to have launched a DDoS attack on whitehouse.gov for 30 minutes.

Translation:

30 minutes of collective test attack on the "WHITE HOUSE" was very successful! Of course, we wanted to take longer, but did not take into account the intensity of the request filtering system. But!!! The White House was banged up in front of everyone!

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Figure 5: Killnet illustrates their claim that the Whitehouse website is offline.

 

Translation:

White House offline!

- So we collectively see off the Biden to retire👋

On the official website of the White House, military state protection against DDOS is installed - Automattic Inc.

Responsible for the attack:

Killnet | Mirai | Anonymous Russian

 

United Kingdom Targets

In response to the UK’s support for Ukraine, Killnet claims to have launched a DDoS attack against the Prince of Wales’ website on November 22. The cybercrime group also stated in a Telegram post that UK healthcare and government websites would be future attack targets, as well as websites of the London Stock Exchange, the British Army, and Bacs, the Bankers' Automated Clearing System.

19298_picture6ss

Figure 6: The Prince of Wale’s website appears taken offline

Translation:

And this is the royal official site

🟢www.princeofwales.gov.uk under the fierce protection of Cloud Flare.

➡️Report:

https://check-host.net/check-report/db290a6k1e6

https://check-host.net/check-report/db2950ckf3e

⚠️ But today it does not work, perhaps this is due to the supply of high-precision missiles to Ukraine!

Also, today all medical institutions, government services and online services stop working!

Conclusion

Killnet continues to collaborate with other threat actors as well as continuing to develop lists of new targets. Despite the effort, interest, collaboration, and major bragging, the group does not seem to have advanced any skills beyond very targeted and limited DDoS attacks. We should expect to see more of these low skill attacks from Killnet targeting an ever-growing list of targets that it considers to be in opposition to Russian interests. However, it remains to be seen whether the group can graduate to attacks that cause damage, exfiltrate data, or do more than take down a website for a short period of time.

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