Monday, October 02, 2023 – Russian hackers claimed responsibility for taking down the Royal Family’s official website in a targeted cyber attack just days after King Charles condemned the invasion of Ukraine.
Hacker KillMilk, the purported leader of the pro-Putin hacktivist group KillNet, said in a Telegram post that they had attacked the Royal Family’s official website on Sunday.
It was reported that the Royal Family’s website, royal.uk, was taken down for around 90 minutes, displaying an error message from around 10.20 on Sunday morning, October 1.
A royal source said hackers had ‘not gained access to the Royal Family’s website’. ‘The website went down due to a Denial of Service attack for around an hour and a half. There was no access to our systems or content,’ they said.
The cyber attack came just two weeks after King Charles’s condemnation of Russia’s ‘unprovoked aggression’ was met with a standing ovation in Paris, as he declared ‘Ukraine must prevail’.
It is understood that an investigation into the cyber attack is underway.
KillMilk regularly posts on messaging site Telegram in support of the Russian state, and cyber security experts believe this group could have links with figures at the top of Putin’s regime.
The group claimed that the takedown was an ‘attack on paedophiles’. It also posted a picture of King Charles with the words ‘they killed our website’ next to it.
This isn’t the first time KillNet has gone after the Royal Family, as in November 2022 the website was taken down for several hours by a DDoS attack.
The Royal Family are vocal supporters of Ukraine, with the King hosting President Zelensky for talks at Buckingham Palace back in February.
Prince William, who has himself served in the military, also visited Ukraine’s border with Poland this year to thank troops personally.
His wife, Catherine Princess of Wales paid homage to the Ukrainian people with her performance at Eurovision and the royals have housed refugees who have fled due to the war.
KillNet is a pro-Russia group that is known for its attacks against government institutions and private companies across the world.
It is understood that the group formed around March 2022, and supported Russia and its invasion of Ukraine.