An attack on German government websites has been linked to a group of hackers opposed to the Ukrainian government after they claimed credit for the hit on their official site.
The websites of German chancellor Angela Merkel and the Bundestag, home of Germany’s federal parliament, were both claimed as targets by CyberBerkut, having suffered service interruptions from around 9am GMT on Wednesday.
Steffen Seibert, a spokesman for Merkel, said to a news conference: "Our service provider’s data centre is under a severe attack that has apparently been caused by a variety of external systems."
A statement posted on CyberBerkut’s websites detailed the reasoning behind the attack, which appears to be a protest against Ukrainian budget reviews planned for February 15.
The group claimed that Ukrainian prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is seeking money from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in order to "extend the war" in Ukraine, which likely refers to the continuing instability in the east of the country.
"This war has already taken thousands of lives, and Yatsenyuk will kill more for your money!" they said. "That’s why we appeal to all people and the government of Germany to stop financial and political support of criminal regime in Kiev, which unleashed a bloody civil war."
The slogan on the hackers’ website also mimics the motto of the hacking collective Anonymous, which was largely supportive of the Ukrainian revolution in February last year that toppled president Viktor Yanukovych.
The source of the hack has yet to be confirmed.