Archbishop’s online rosary for peace cyber attacked

There have been multiple internet outages across Europe and the US that experts say are cyberattacks linked to the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

According to the Archdiocese of San Francisco, an online “Rosary for Peace in Ukraine” was disrupted by a suspected cyberattack. The incident has been reported to the FBI.

Instigated by Archbishop Salvatore J Cordileone, the rosary for peace followed the lead of Pope Francis. The pontiff called for a day of prayer and fasting for peace in Ukraine on Ash Wednesday.

A suspiciously large surge of requests to access the event temporarily knocked the archdiocese’s website offline, the archdiocese said.

The pattern of this sudden surge in traffic is consistent with a method of cyber attacking called Distributed Denial of Service Attack, the statement said.

America is not ready for what is coming says Glenn S Gerstell is a senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the former general counsel of the National Security Agency and Central Security Service.

” Destructive malware has flooded hundreds of Ukrainian websites and computers since Vladimir Putin announced his invasion. It would be a mistake to assume such attacks will remain limited to Ukrainian targets.

“Last week President Biden warned Mr Putin against Russian cyberattacks on the United States’ critical infrastructure. But American businesses aren’t ready for a war in cyberspace”, he says.

In Europe, thousands of internet users were thrown offline in what sources said was a likely cyberattack at the beginning of Russia’s offensive in Ukraine.

According to Orange, nearly 9,000 subscribers of a satellite internet service provided by its subsidiary Nordnet in France are without internet following a “cyber event” on February 24.

In the US, Viasat said a “cyber event” had caused a “partial network outage” for customers “in Ukraine and elsewhere in Europe” who rely on its satellite.

General Michel Friedling, head of France’s Space Command, said there had been a cyberattack.

“For several days, shortly after the start of operations in Ukraine, we have had a satellite network that covers Europe and Ukraine in particular, which was the victim of a cyberattack. Tens of thousands of terminals were rendered inoperative immediately after the attack,” he said. Then added he was talking about a civilian network – Viasat.

The outages also knocked offline some 5,800 wind turbines in Germany and Central Europe with a combined output of 11 gigawatts.

A report by Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security said that it was “conceivable that the outages were the consequence of a “cyberattack”, German daily Handelsblatt reported.

Military and cyber specialists fear that the Russian-Ukrainian conflict could lead to an outbreak of cyberattacks. Known as “Cyber Armageddon”, it would have major consequences for civilians in Ukraine and Russia, and globally through a spillover effect.


Catholic News Agency


The New York Times

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