German Government Website Under Attack for Second Day

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government failed to restore full access to its websites as attacks stretched into a second day.

Specialists are still trying to determine why parts of the government’s main website are down, a spokesman said today. Steffen Seibert, Merkel’s chief spokesman, yesterday called the incident a “serious attack” by “multiple external systems.” Other sites attacked yesterday were back online today.

The pro-Russian CyberBerkut group on its website yesterday claimed responsibility for the jamming actions, and urged “Germany to stop financial and political support of criminal regime in Kiev.”

The attack flies in the face of pledges by Merkel to step up funding and expertise for security on the government’s internal and public sites after Edward Snowden’s leaks on snooping by U.S. and U.K. spy agencies.

The attacks that started yesterday were probably carried out using a so-called distributed denial of service, or DDoS, in which a large number of computers are hijacked and used to overload target servers with requests, said Sean Sullivan, a security adviser at Helsinki-based F-Secure Oyj.