Hackers try to take down Federal Government websites

Hackers try to take down Federal Government websites
© Ilya Pavlov for Unsplash

Belgium's Federal Government was targeted by a cyber attack on Monday night and Tuesday morning, the Chancellery of the Prime Minister confirmed on Tuesday afternoon.

The government was hit by a DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attack, in which hackers try to take down servers by overloading them with internet traffic. The cyber attack started around 16:00 on Monday and ended around 11:00 on Tuesday.

As a result, websites ending in ".belgie.be," ".belgique.be," ".belgien.be" and ".fgov.be" were sometimes difficult to access. The Finance Ministry in particular – which already has significant traffic at this point time of year as the Belgian tax deadline is approaching – reported issues with its online services.

"We are currently facing an IT attack targeting federal systems. Our e-services may temporarily experience certain disruptions. We apologise for the inconvenience. Thank you for your understanding," the ministry announced on Twitter.

Who is behind the attack is not yet clear. The requests to overload the servers came from all over the world. According to the authorities, all "relevant service providers have taken additional measures to deal with such attacks even faster" in the future.

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