More than a dozen public airport websites, including those for some of the country’s largest airports, appeared inaccessible on Monday morning, and Russian-speaking hackers claimed responsibility.
There were no immediate signs of impact on actual air travel, suggesting the issue could be an inconvenience for people seeking travel information.
“Obviously we’re following that and we’re not worried about operations being disrupted,” Kiersten Todt, chief of staff at the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), told a conference on Monday. on safety at Sea Island, Georgia.
The 14 websites include that of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. An employee told CNN there was no operational impact.
The Los Angeles International Airport website was offline earlier, but appeared to have been restored shortly before 9 a.m. Eastern Time. A spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment.
The hacking group known as Killnet has listed several US airports as targets. It stepped up its activities to target organizations in NATO countries after Russia invaded Ukraine in February. The loosely organized “hacktivists” are politically motivated to support the Kremlin, but ties to Moscow are unknown.
The group claimed responsibility last week for taking US state government websites offline. Killnet is accused of briefly blocking a US Congress website in July and launching cyberattacks on organizations in Lithuania after the country blocked the shipment of goods to the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad in June.
The type of cyberattack used by Killnet is known as “distributed denial of service” (DDoS), in which hackers flood computer servers with fake web traffic to knock them offline.
“DDoS attacks are favored by actors of varying sophistication because they have visible results, but these incidents are typically superficial and short-lived,” said John Hultquist, vice president of Google-owned cybersecurity firm Mandiant, at CNN.
A spokesperson for the Transportation Security Administration said the agency is monitoring the issue and working with airport partners.