Friday, January 21, 2022

‘Massive cyber attack’ hits Ukraine government websites as tensions with Russia escalate

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Hackers attacked numerous Ukrainian government websites on Friday, briefly disabling websites and leaving messages warning readers to “be afraid and expect the worse.”

A spokesperson for Ukraine’s international ministry described the incident as a “massive cyber attack,” in keeping with reviews from Bloomberg and Sky News, however famous that no content material on the websites had been altered and no private information had been leaked.

Websites for the government’s cupboard, safety and protection councils, and ministry for schooling have been amongst these affected. “Our specialists are already working on restoring the work of IT systems, and the cyber police opened an investigation,” stated the spokesperson.

Despite their apparently superficial nature, the assaults are vital given escalating tensions within the area. An estimated 100,000 Russian troops are currently gathered on the borders of Ukraine, and Western intelligence businesses warn {that a} full-blown invasion may very well be imminent. Russian troops and Russian-backed insurgents have occupied areas of the nation since 2014, together with the Crimea peninsula and components of the Donbas area.

Although there is no such thing as a clear offender for in the present day’s cyberattacks, officers are already suggesting that Russia could also be accountable. “It’s too early to draw conclusions, but there is a long record of Russian assaults against Ukraine,” a Ukrainian government spokesperson advised Sky News. The EU’s head of international affairs, Josep Borrell, advised reporters this morning that he “has no evidence who was responsible” however “we can imagine who is behind it.”

Russia has beforehand deployed cyberattacks as a prelude to floor warfare, as throughout its 2008 invasion of Georgia. Weeks earlier than Russian troops marched into the nation — taking management of two separatist areas that it nonetheless holds in the present day, Abkhazia and South Ossetia — cyberattacks have been used to focus on Georgian government websites and net infrastructure. Similar assaults spiked in the course of the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014. In such circumstances, the intent of assaults could be as a lot to sow confusion as it’s to disable important providers.

As a part of the assaults on Ukraine’s government websites this week, messages have been posted in three languages: Ukrainian, Polish, and Russian. “Ukrainian! All your personal data was uploaded to the public network. All data on the computer is destroyed, it is impossible to restore it,” reads the message. “All information about you has become public, be afraid and expect the worst. This is for your past, present and future.”

According to Sky News, the EU has referred to as an emergency assembly to answer the assaults.

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