The Finnish Defense Ministry was forced to temporarily divert web traffic from its main website following a targeted attack.
On Tuesday, the leading authority in the area of national defense for Finland’s government said that it experienced a denial-of-service attack that began at around 10:30 GMT, reports Reuters.
A denial-of-service (DoS) attack typically involves the use of one computer and one Internet connection to flood a system or resource with fake requests in an effort to bring down that particular target. DoS attacks are different than distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, which use multiple computers and multiple web connections to conduct similar attack traffic campaigns on a larger scale.
According to Verisign, a network infrastructure company, DDoS attacks increased in frequency, size, and sophistication in the fourth quarter of 2015.
“We had a similar attack on our site two weeks ago. Other ministries’ websites were also targeted in February,” ministry official Kristian Vakkuri told Reuters.
Kristian Vakkuri, senior advisor on international affairs at the ministry, told Yle, Finland’s national public-broadcasting company, that this earlier attack occurred on February 27 and lasted for about 4-5 hours. The websites of the ministries of finance, social affairs and health, agriculture and forestry, Council of State office, and the Financial Stability Authority were all affected by the attack.
A large scale DDoS campaign also brought down Finland’s police website for several hours approximately one year ago.
Finnish officials have not provided any information on who might have been behind the attacks that occurred on Tuesday and back in February.
News of this targeted attack coincides with a meeting between Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on cross-border cooperation and other issues of international importance including Ukraine and the ongoing civil war in Syria. The attack also occurred on the same day that three men attacked an airport and a metro stop in Brussels, killing at least 34 and wounding hundreds.