DoS attack downs public service websites

Police, tax and population centre websites are operating normally again after Wednesday night's service disruption.

Image: AOP

The websites of several state organisations in Finland were inaccessible due to a denial-of-service (DoS) attack late Wednesday night. A DoS is a cyber-attack in which the perpetrator disrupts the services of a host connected to the internet.

The attack downed the websites of the Finnish Police, Tax Administration and the Population Register Centre, and caused disturbances at the websites of the Border Guard and the online information portal.

Juha Tretjakov, an IT security expert with the Ministry of Transport and Communications, says the disturbances started on Wednesday evening.

For the most part, the services were once again in operation by mid-day on Thursday, although some problems with logging in to e-services of the Social Insurance Institution (Kela) were still being reported.

The cause of the disturbances is not known. An investigation has been launched.

The tabloid Iltalehti reported Thursday that the website of the Finnish Police crashed (siirryt toiseen palveluun) on Wednesday evening while Russian President Vladimir Putin was in Helsinki for a working visit, but said "there is no information yet if the disturbance is associated with Putin's visit".