Hackers targeted the Russian American Chamber of Commerce, shutting down the website Sunday just after Crimeans voted to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. The website remained invisible to search engines into Monday.
“Who did it? We don’t know,” Mark Macias, media relations officer for the chamber, said Monday. “Whoever hacked into this we would say is trying to interfere with business relations with the U.S. and Russia.”
The website is hosted on a private server in California and was designed by a "very high-level" team, Macias said.
Top officials from the chamber’s internal cyber security team, based in California, are investigating who the hackers are and where they are from, hoping to restore the site by mid-morning Tuesday. The cyber security company, which the chamber has kept anonymous, also outsources work to Belarus.
Macias and Sergei Millian, president of the chamber, returned over the weekend to their New York headquarters from Minsk, Belarus, where they met with the minister of education, department minister of foreign affairs and other top government officials to discuss ways to promote business relations between the U.S. and Belarus. The chamber is planning to help Minsk with a media campaign to attract English-speaking college students to study abroad in the capital city.
“The meetings went extremely successfully,” Millian said. “They were excited to see us and for business opportunities between the U.S. and Belarus.”
The chamber had planned to host an oil and gas forum in Moscow on March 18-20, but the Russian government postponed the forum to October two weeks ago. They did not give Millian a reason.
The chamber works with international businesses throughout Eastern Europe and the U.S., helping American businesses that want to expand into Eastern Europe and Eastern European businesses that want to expand into the U.S.