Ukrainian Government hit with massive cyber-attack

Ukrainian Government hit with massive cyber-attack

The Ukrainian foreign ministry, the security and defence council, and the cabinet of ministers have suffered a massive cyber-attack.

A message written in Ukrainian, Russian, and Polish appeared on the official website of the Ukrainian foreign ministry, reading “Be afraid and expect the worst. All of your personal data was uploaded to the public networks. All data on the computer is destroyed, it is impossible to restore it.” Websites were unavailable on Friday and Kyiv has since opened an investigation.

According to Reuters, the Ukrainian foreign ministry spokesperson said, “It’s too early to draw conclusions, but there is a long record of Russian (cyber) assaults against Ukraine in the past.” This attack comes following the US’s warning of a Russian military invasion of Ukraine.

“Attribution for the attack has not been confirmed; however, initial indicators likely point to the work of Russian or affiliated actors, operating in reaction to current events. The attack has coincided with significant tensions between Russia and Ukraine, with Russia conducting a build-up of more than 100,000 of its forces along the Ukrainian border and conducting several military exercises. Recent talks between the West and Russia in defusing the crisis also appear to have reached an impasse; this week, a top Russian negotiator said diplomacy had reached a “dead
end.” There are credible fears of a Russian invasion into Ukraine once again, with Russia reportedly compelled to react to Ukraine’s attempts to move towards NATO membership, which would result in deepening military and economic ties with the West.”

Chris Morgan – Digital Shadows, Senior Cyber Threat Intelligence Analyst

Specific details regarding this attack are currently unclear, but are likely to emerge in the coming weeks, Morgan claims.

“The cyberattack against Ukraine does fit a consistent model frequently employed by Russian actors, who have historically conducted hybrid warfare tactics involving coinciding cyber-attacks ahead of movements for its military forces. However, given the unsophisticated nature of the attacks, it is possibly the work of third-party Russian hacktivist or cybercriminal actors, who are either encouraged by or otherwise working independently of the Russian state.”

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