On February 16, 2023, the Russian cybercrime group Killnet launched a new wave of DDoS attacks against Germany, this time targeting airports. The hackers were protesting the German government’s decision to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.
The announcement of this military aid on February 2, 2023, had triggered a first series of DDoS attacks against German targets, claimed by Killnet. On February 15, 2023, the German government declared a first battalion of 15 tanks would be sent to Ukraine “in the last week of March”. The executive branch also authorized all countries with Leopard 2s to send them to Kyiv.
This twofold announcement led Killnet to launch new DDoS attacks. Throughout the day of February 16, the websites of the Nuremberg, Dortmund, Hanover and Erfurt airports were taken offline. Also hit were the Düsseldorf and Baden-Baden airports, but they were back online in the afternoon.