Over the weekend, a Russian hacktivist organization purportedly associated with pro-Putin attitudes launched a cyberattack against the official website of the Royal Family. This disturbing situation comes after King Charles openly denounced Vladimir Putin’s ongoing attack against the Ukrainian people. According to reports, the pro-Putin hacktivist collective Killnet staged a denial of service attack on Sunday morning, briefly blocking access to the royal.uk website for about two hours.
The cyberattack: Following King Charles’ strong denunciation of Russia’s “unprovoked aggression” against Ukraine in a speech in Paris last month, the incident took place. In an apparent act of reprisal, Killnet interfered with the Royal Family’s official website’s accessibility. When someone tried to access the website, they received a “Gateway time-out error code 504”. Killnet afterwards boasted about their penetration and took credit for the attack on Telegram.
The reason behind Killnet’s actions: The infamous hacktivist organization, known for backing Putin and going after nations who are pro-Ukraine, asserted that the disruption of the website was a “attack on pedophiles.” According to reports, the organization included a link to the website that included details about the monarch and the Royal Family’s position in the UK.
Nature of the Attack: Insiders explained that, despite initial reports implying hacking, the attack was actually a denial of service attack rather than a breach. According to this distinction, the website experienced a temporary suspension due to an overload of traffic from the attackers. Senior members of the Royal Family’s personal accounts were not hacked, according to palace officials, and no private data was taken in the cyberattack.
King Charles and the Royal Family have taken a strong stance against Putin and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. King Charles was met with a standing ovation in Paris in September after he denounced Putin’s “unprovoked aggression” and showed support for Ukraine. The Royal Family has continuously taken a firm stand against Russia’s actions; earlier this year, Prince William even made a trip to the border between Poland and Ukraine to express gratitude to the Ukrainian forces.
Preemptive Measures: The Five Eyes intelligence alliance warned about Killnet’s hacking capabilities before to the attack on the Royal Family website. The alliance—which includes the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK—emphasized Killnet’s reputation for focusing on nations that back Ukraine. The Royal Family reportedly bolstered their cyber defenses in response, anticipating future threats.