Cyber ​​attacks hit Ukrainian government site, major banks

Ukraine’s Kiev — A series of cyberattacks on Tuesday knocked offline on the websites of Ukrainian government agencies and major banks, Ukrainian officials said, amid strong tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine. attack.

However, it was premature to know if an apparently low-level denial of service attack could be a more serious and damaging smoke screen of cyber mischief.

Russia sent a signal on Tuesday, which slightly eased concerns about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but Western nations demanded evidence.

At least 10 Ukrainian websites could not be accessed due to denial of service attacks by the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture, and the two largest state-owned banks in Ukraine. In such an attack, the website is attacked with a large number of junk data packets and becomes unreachable.

Customers of Ukraine’s largest state-owned bank, Privatbank and state-owned Sberbank, reported problems with online payments and banking apps.

“There is no threat to depositors’ funds,” the Ukrainian Ministry of Information’s Strategic Communication and Information Security Center said in a statement. Deputy Minister Victor Zora confirmed the cyberattack.

The ministry, without providing details, suggested that Russia could be behind the incident on Tuesday. “The attacker’s offensive plan isn’t working at all, so the attacker may have resorted to mischievous tactics,” the statement said.

Oleh Derevianko, a leading private sector and founder of ISSP cybersecurity, said it wasn’t immediately clear whether Tuesday’s cyberattacks were limited to denial of service campaigns.

“That’s exactly the question we always ask,” he said.

Ukraine has been exposed to the steady diet of Russia’s invasion in cyberspace since 2014, when Russia merged the Crimean Peninsula and assisted separatists in eastern Ukraine.

The attack followed a cyberattack on January 14th, damaging a malicious “wiper” hidden as ransomware on the servers of the Ukrainian National Emergency Services and Automotive Transportation Insurance Authority. The damage proved to be minimal. Some cybersecurity experts attribute this to design, given the capabilities of Russia’s state-sponsored hackers. A message posted simultaneously on dozens of tampered Ukrainian government websites said, “I’m afraid and anticipate the worst.”

Selhi Demedyuk, the second bureaucrat of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council, said Tuesday’s attack “to destabilize the situation in Ukraine, to explode the Euro-Atlantic integration and seize power. Part of a full-fledged Russian operation. ” “

Such attacks tend to continue as Russian President Vladimir Putin tries to “decrease” and “denormalize” confidence in Ukrainian institutions, cybersecurity firm Crowd Strike said in a blog post. rice field.

Ukraine was the premier test site for cyber conflicts. In the winter of 2015 and 2016, attacks on the Ukrainian power grid by the Russian GRU military intelligence agency temporarily knocked out electricity.

Russia’s GRU has also been blamed for perhaps the most devastating cyberattacks to date. The NotPetya virus, which targeted companies doing business in Ukraine in 2017, caused more than $ 10 billion in damage worldwide. The virus, disguised as ransomware, was a “wiper” virus that scrubs the entire network.

Associated Press


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