Additional security checks appeared to be in place on Royal.UK on Monday
The British royal family’s official website was briefly down over the weekend following a cyberattack allegedly caused by Russian hackers, multiple outlets report.
On Sunday, the royal family’s Royal.UK website was down for at least an hour, The Telegraph and ABC News reported. According to the outlets, the pro-Russia hacktivist group Killnet has taken responsibility for the denial of service (DoS) attack. Buckingham Palace has not commented on the Sunday outage.
A royal source tells PEOPLE the site was down due to a denial of service attack — when websites are bombarded with traffic. The source adds there was no access to the palace systems or content. The Royal.UK site is the royal family’s main page on the web and it's loaded with information, from biographies and the line of succession to the Court Circular and Royal Diary of future engagements.
DoS attacks flood hosts or networks with traffic to the point that they crash or cannot respond, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency of the Department of Homeland Security states. Websites, email and online accounts can all be targeted.
The royal family’s website was back up and running later on Sunday and was live on Monday, though additional security checks appear to be in place.
According to The Telegraph, the leader of Killnet took responsibility for the DoS attack on Telegram, a social networking site. The "pro-Kremlin" group has previously been linked to DoS activity against countries supporting Ukraine amid the ongoing Russian invasion, which began in February 2022, the outlet said.
Though the British royals traditionally avoid voicing political opinions, the family has shared support for Ukraine amid the ongoing invasion. King Charles welcomed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Buckingham Palace for their first meeting in February, and he spent time with Ukrainian military recruits training with the British Army and international partner forces a few weeks later. In March, Prince William made a surprise trip to Poland to thank the people for their "humanity and hospitality" during the ongoing crisis in neighboring Ukraine.
More recently, King Charles backed Ukraine in a historic speech at the French Senate during his state visit to France with Queen Camilla in late September. The King, 74, became the first member of the British royal family to address French parliamentarians from the Senate Chamber on Sept. 21. The wide-ranging remarks — delivered in both French and English — referred to the ongoing war with staunch support for Ukraine.
“Today, more than eighty years since we fought side by side for the liberation of Europe, we once again face unjustified aggression on our continent. Our resolve and our alliance are more important than ever. Together, we stand with the Ukrainian people in resolute solidarity. Together, we are unwavering in our determination that Ukraine will triumph and our cherished freedoms will prevail,” King Charles said. “These horrifying events have once more demonstrated the fragility of so much that we hold dear.”
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On King Charles and Queen Camilla’s first day in France, the royal couple joined French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte, for a wreath-laying and remembrance ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe, an iconic Paris monument to the lives lost in the French Revolution and Napoleonic wars. There, the King poignantly rekindled the eternal flame at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
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