Hack Attacks on Official Websites Rattles Greece

Αssociated Press

(AP Photo, File)

ATHENS - Two cyberattacks in a week against Greek ministries, the Parliament, Prime Minister and police, fire and national intelligence agencies has the government scrambling for countermeasures and anxious there could be more.

Despite speculation that the hackers could have been from Turkey - a group there claimed it was behind the first net assault - a government official who wasn’t identified told Kathimerini no one knows who was behind it. The latest round targeted the websites of the prime minister and the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Tourism, Economy, Environment and Energy through what government spokesman Stelios Petsas said were distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

The attack briefly shut down official pages before they were restored  of the Prime Minister, police, fire services and other ministries.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility although after the earlier break into government sites a Turkish group calling itself Anka Neferler Tim (Phoenix's Helmets) said it hacked in as a response to Greek “threats” against Turkey.

On their main website, the group wrote that the web hack "department" targets all websites that make bad or negative statements against Turkey which, ironically, is the provocateur in the Aegean and East Mediterranean, claiming Cypriot and Greek waters.

Petsas said the first DDoS attack “led to the malfunction of certain websites,” but that countermeasures worked without providing details about the technological tug o’ war.

Other ministries hit with the mass attack included those dealing with public order, interior, foreign affairs, and merchant marine but it wasn’t said how long they were shut down or if any services were affected.

The Turkish group got into the official webpages of the Greek Foreign and Finance ministries, the National Intelligence Service (EYP), the Athens Stock Exchange and the Parliament, Greek media reported, forcing the pages to be taken down.

The same group in June, 2019 said it was behind the hack attack of the then deputy sports minister Giorgos Vasiliadis, posting photos on Vasiliadis' account, one of Constantinople’s Greek Church Hagia Sophia turned into a museum.