Eurocontrol, the website for Europe’s air-traffic control agency, said it has been under attack from Russian hackers since April 19.
“The attack is causing interruptions to the website and web availability. There has been no impact on European aviation,” the agency said in a notice on its website.
Air traffic in Europe is not at risk as the agency responsible for air-traffic safety across the continent had ring-fenced operational systems, a senior Eurocontrol official told The Wall Street Journal,.
Hackers cannot gain direct access to systems for aviation safety as they are disconnected to external networks and also subject to strict cyber safety rules, the source said. But Eurocontrol had advised airlines to avoid filing flight plans through its online system on Thursday, the report said.
The official also described a “heavy cyber battle” with the hackers. Russian hacking group Killnet is believed to behind the incident after it had reportedly been urging an attack lasting “100 hours” on Eurocontrol via a recent Telegram social-media post.
Eurocontrol is apparently seen by the group as a supporter of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Ukraine. Russia has been waging war against Ukraine for more than a year. A few airline executives told The Wall Street Journal on Thursday that they hadn’t been aware of the hacker attack or of any impact.
The attack has reportedly consisted of a distributed denial-of-service attack, in which hackers flood a website with internet traffic.