The DDoS attacks began early Friday morning, according to a report by the Irish Independent. However, some commentators point to the attacks launching as early as Thursday evening local time before carrying over into Friday.
The affected websites include the Irish Department of Justice website, the Central Statistics Office and the Courts service. All there websites were unavailable for at least an hour on Friday morning but did seem to find their bearings with limited connectivity toward Friday afternoon.
A statement from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform stated: “A number of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are currently targeting Government Infrastructure,” said a spokesman for the department.
The statement added:
These attacks have resulted in periodic disruption that has resulted in a number of Government websites becoming unavailable to the public. We have implemented our contingency plans which are designed to minimize this disruption. As with all DDoS attacks it is not possible to identify the exact source of the attack.
A Twitter message by the Irish Central Statistics Office read:
Due to technical issues with Government networks, our website and email are currently unavailable. Apologies for any inconvenience.
Security publication The Register added that an individual with a pseudonym contacted them to claim the DDoS attacks were a part of a wider attack that would comprehensively disrupt more Irish websites. The reason to engage in such an activity? To highlight security weaknesses, the individual claimed.
The individual further added that a team of security experts were testing Irish websites and indicated that news outlets and financial institutions will be next.
However, authorities who have since contacted the publication confirm that these ‘tests’ are not a part of any officially sanctioned program and are being looked as a criminal matter.
A Kaspersky Lab report that recorded and studied DDoS attacks revealed that a majority of DDoS attacks are primarily sourced from ten countries around the world. These include China, USA and the UK, which occupied the primary spots on the list.