LaGuardia among nation's airports that may have been targeted by Russian hackers

WJRT
Monday, October 10, 2022
LGA among airports targeted by Russian hackers
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Some of the nation's largest airports, including in LaGuardia in NYC, were targeted for cyber attacks by an attacker within the Russian federation. Darla Miles has the story.

NEW YORK -- Service has largely been restored to the websites for some of the nation's largest airports, including LaGuardia, after they were taken down by Russian hackers.

More than a dozen websites were hit Monday morning and a Russian hacker group claimed responsibility.

The systems targeted did not handle air traffic control, internal airline communications/coordination or transportation security.

While the attack didn't disrupt any air travel, it raises the concern that America is a target for future cyber attacks.

The attacks were first reported around 3 a.m. when the Port Authority notified the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency that the LaGuardia system had been hit.

A spokesperson with Port Authority said their website was compromised for 15 minutes in what appears to be a coordinated cyber attack on U.S. airport websites.

Within 15 minutes, Port Authority said cybersecurity detected the breach and allowed them to give other airports and federal agencies a heads up.

LGA was restored, but other airports around the country were subsequently been targeted, including Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, LAX in Los Angeles and O'Hare in Chicago.

"We are pretty clear its a Russian cyber group that claimed responsibility, we are asking our authorities to confirm who did it and then take the appropriate strong action so the Russians know they cannot get away with this," said Sen. Charles Schumer.

The FBI and the CISA would only say their agency 'is aware' of the incident.

Investigators are looking into the Russian cyber group Killnet and any possible connections to the war in Ukraine.

"Putin has a lot of nerve, after his brutal viscous war against the Ukrainian people, to now say he has the right to retaliate because they protected themselves with a bridge is outrageous," Schumer said.

Engineers and programmers are now working to close the backdoors that allowed the attacks to try to prevent a more serious attack from happening in the future.

"We are going to find who you are and we have ways of disabling you permanently in terms of your ability to hack, we are going to do it," Schumer said.

Federal officials are investigating.

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