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Finland targeted in cyber attack, airspace breached

Finnish news agency YLE reported on 8 April that the websites of Finland’s defence and foreign affairs ministries were out of service on Friday after being hit by a denial of service (DoS) attack.

The DoS attacks occurred just as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the Finnish Parliament. Russian military aircraft also breached Finnish airspace around the same time. It comes as tensions between Finland and Russia continue to increase over Finland’s plans to join NATO and the war in Ukraine.

Speaking to YLE the defence ministry’s communications chief, Kristian Vakkuri, confirmed that a DoS attack was the cause of problems with its services. He said: “We are investigating the matter as best we can and will provide more information when we know more.”

“There are disturbances in the web services of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs at the moment. We are investigating the matter and trying to make the services work as quickly as possible. We apologise for the inconvenience,” the foreign ministry tweeted.

A DoS attack is an attack intended to shut down a computer system or network, making it inaccessible to its intended users. DoS attacks accomplish this by flooding the target with high volumes of traffic or sending it information that triggers a crash.

Regarding the airspace breach by a Russian aircraft, the Finnish defence minister stated: “A Russian state aircraft is suspected of violating Finnish airspace this morning. Finland always takes airspace violations seriously. The Border Guard is investigating the matter. Our area surveillance capacity is good and we detect all area violations and are able to respond to them effectively.”

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