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Swiss government websites hit by cyberattacks ahead of Ukraine summit 

The Burgenstock resort, perched on the top of a tree-covered mountain. Lake Lucerne can be seen behind in the distance. The building is approximately six storeys, and white.
The Ukraine peace summit is taking place at the Bürgenstock resort in Switzerland this weekend. Keystone / Urs Flueeler

Various Swiss government websites and organisations involved in the Ukraine peace summit were the target of cyberattacks on Thursday morning, according to the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). 

Switzerland’s NCSC said the attacks were presumably related to the conference, which is taking place at the country’s Bürgenstock resort this weekend. Further such attacks are expected in the run-up to and during the event. 

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While the attacks led to minor outages, the NCSC said, these were within a specified tolerance range and operations of the affected organisations were not significantly impacted. It added that there is currently no acute threat.

Swiss customs was among those affected, the government announced, which had to temporarily switch to alternative emergency procedures for customs declarations. After just over an hour, systems were back to normal. 

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The security of data and systems was not jeopardised at any time, according to the NCSC, which added that hackers launch disruptive cyberattacks to spread their political message and gain attention. 

Overload attacks, or Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks, aim to overload websites and computer systems with large numbers of requests. The data volume often reaches several hundred gigabits per second, volumes that a single organisation usually cannot handle without outside help. 

Adapted from German by DeepL/kp/jdp

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