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DDoS Cyber Attack Hits Alabama State Sites

A state spokesman says all normal business operations have been restored. Meanwhile, the hacktivist group, Anonymous Sudan, is claiming credit for the attack through statements on its Telegram channel.

A person sitting in front of a laptop with their head in their hands. The laptop screen shows an illustration of a skull and crossbones on a red background.
Website defacing can shut down businesses that have moved online during the coronavirus pandemic.
A distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack has struck several Alabama government websites.

The incident began Tuesday, according to a statement from the Alabama Governor’s Office. The state's IT department has been working to mitigate the impact. DDoS attacks involve overwhelming a system with traffic with a goal of forcing it offline or otherwise preventing genuine users from accessing it.

Alabama's mitigation efforts may have slowed down some sites this week, the state noted, but Jeremy Ward, an Office of Information Technology spokesperson, told GovTech on Thursday that things have improved and "all sites are functioning properly and allowing normal business operations to occur."

The state is continuing to work to “further mitigate the impact this incident has had on some Alabama state agency websites,” Ward said.

Ward did not answer a question about perpetrators, but, according to CNN, the hacking group Anonymous Sudan claimed responsibility in comments on its Telegram channel. Anonymous Sudan said the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency was one of its intended targets.

Cybersecurity company Cloudflare wrote that Anonymous Sudan has conducted a variety of DDoS attacks over the years, claiming to be a Sudan-based hacktivist group targeting organizations involved in “anti-Muslim activity.” Other details about the group, however, have led some threat researchers to believe it may be linked to Russia.
Jule Pattison-Gordon is a senior staff writer for Government Technology. She previously wrote for PYMNTS and The Bay State Banner, and holds a B.A. in creative writing from Carnegie Mellon. She’s based outside Boston.