European Commission suffers cyber attack

European Commission

The European Commission suffered significant DDoS attack on Thursday, which disrupted its operations from approximately 2pm GMT and was not resolved until later that night.

The attack, which was first reported by Politico, was initially thought to be an attempt to hack into the organisation's systems. However, it was later clarified that, in fact, it was a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack - a type of cyber assault that floods networks with high volumes of traffic all in one go in an effort to take it offline. In this particular case, it's understood that millions of requests were sent to the EC's servers simultaneously, which the organisation said "saturated [its] network".

In a statement to Politico, an EC spokesperson said: "No data breach has occurred ... the attack has so far been successfully stopped with no interruption of service, although connection speeds have been affected for a time."

However, an insider at the Commission reportedly told the media outlet the disruption was significant enough to halt work for long stretches of the afternoon, as workers were unable to access the internet for hours at a time.

There has been no indication of the source of the malicious traffic, however it does coincide with the EU Ukraine Summit, which is taking place in Brussels, where the European Union "has confirmed a range of specific support programmes designed to foster accountable and transparent governance".

IT Pro has contacted the European Commission for confirmation of the attack and comment on its nature, but hadn't received a response at the time of publication.

Jane McCallion
Managing Editor

Jane McCallion is ITPro's Managing Editor, specializing in data centers and enterprise IT infrastructure. Before becoming Managing Editor, she held the role of Deputy Editor and, prior to that, Features Editor, managing a pool of freelance and internal writers, while continuing to specialize in enterprise IT infrastructure, and business strategy.

Prior to joining ITPro, Jane was a freelance business journalist writing as both Jane McCallion and Jane Bordenave for titles such as European CEO, World Finance, and Business Excellence Magazine.