Websites belonging to the Belgian government and monarchy were reportedly taken offline by a Russian cyberattack on October 12, local media reports. (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)


Belgian Government and monarchy hit by Russian cyberattack


Websites belonging to the Belgian Government and the monarchy were taken offline by a Russian cyberattack on October 12, local media has reported.

The Moscow-linked hacker group NoName057(16) is said to have claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying it was in retaliation for the Belgium’s “Russophobic” decision to send F-16s to Ukraine.

“The Belgian authorities promised to send several F-16 aircraft to Ukraine, as well as continued training of Ukrainian pilots,” a message purportedly from the hackers read.

“Belgium also announced that it would give €1.7 billion to the Ukrainian neo-Nazis,” it continued. “History always punishes those who are unwilling to learn from their mistakes.”

According to the HLN news portal, the websites operated by the Belgian House of Representatives, Senate, Prime Minister and the monarchy were all shut down by the attack.

Most of the sites have since been brought back online, although the webpage belonging to the Senate remains unresponsive at the time of writing.

“It is not completely over yet,” a government spokesman said, noting that the attackers were still trying to take down government sites.

Despite the disruptions, authorities in the country have played down the impact of the hack.

A type of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack designed to overload the state’s websites, the assault has been described by experts as being unsophisticated, with there being little risk of sensitive data being accessed.

While earning the wrath of pro-Russian internet activists, Belgium’s announcement that it is handing fighter jets to Ukraine will not be of much benefit in the short term to the Eastern European country.

Speaking on the matter, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo qualified the decision by saying that the deliveries would only start from 2025 onwards and only then with the approval of the next Belgian Government.

This will be of little comfort to Ukrainian troops battling Russia’s ongoing invasion of the country who have struggled to regain lost territory despite Kyiv’s latest counteroffensive.

Recent media coverage indicates that Russia may be beginning a counteroffensive of its own. The BBC has reported that some 2,000 troops under Moscow’s control have launched an assault against the town of Avdiivka, a stronghold in Eastern Ukraine.

“Since the beginning of the invasion, we haven’t dealt with such an intensive attack [in the Avdiivka area],” one Ukrainian military official said.

“They are using multiple rocket launchers, artillery, tanks and infantry – all at the same time.”

Ukraine claims that it has managed to repel the assaults.