A cyber-attack took the European Commission’s services offline on Thursday, although it is thought hackers didn’t gain access to any systems and no data was compromised.
According to Politico, internet services at the EC were down for several hours on Thursday afternoon following a DDoS attack. An email sent to EC staff said that a DDoS attack “resulted in the saturation of our internet connection.”
Although DDoS attacks are often used as a decoy by cyber-criminals to deflect attention away from a different type of attack, there is no evidence that’s the case here. “No data breach has occurred,” the EC said in a statement sent to Politico. “The attack has so far been successfully stopped with no interruption of service, although connection speeds have been affected for a time.”
Despite the EC’s claim that there was no interruption to its services, one staff member told Politico that the internet connection went down for several hours on two separate occasions, stopping employees from getting work done.
There is no indication at the moment who carried out the attack or what the motivation was. The EC is, however, bracing itself for further trouble as DDoS attacks often come in waves.
The EC and the European Union (EU) are dealing with a number of cyber-related issues at the moment. Top of the agenda is the potential impact of Brexit on cybersecurity across the region, as well as incoming data protection laws. The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force in May 2018, but there is plenty of work ahead for businesses and governments before that deadline.