Cyberattack hits Ukrainian government sites and major banks – News

At least 10 websites have stopped working, including those of the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture and the two largest state banks



Honor guard soldiers fold a Ukrainian flag following a ceremony marking the anniversary of the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan, in Kyiv. —AP

By PA

Published: Tue 15 Feb 2022, 22:26

A cyberattack hit the websites of Ukrainian government agencies and major banks on Tuesday, Ukrainian authorities said.

The attack, the latest of several hacking operations targeting Ukraine, came after weeks of growing fears that Russia could invade its neighboring country. Russia sent signals on Tuesday that it could pull back from the brink of an invasion, but Western powers demanded proof.

At least 10 Ukrainian websites have stopped working due to DDOS attacks, including those of the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Culture and Ukraine’s two largest state banks.

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

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“There is no threat to depositors’ funds,” Ukraine’s Information Ministry’s Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security said in a statement. Deputy Minister Victor Zhora confirmed a cyberattack.

The ministry suggested that Russia might be behind Tuesday’s incident without providing details. “It is possible that the abuser resorted to petty mischief tactics, as his aggressive plans are not working overall,” the statement read.

In mid-January, Ukraine accused Russia of being behind a cyberattack that temporarily disabled about 70 Ukrainian government websites simultaneously. During the attack last month, an announcement issued said Ukrainians should “be afraid and expect the worst”.

Russia launched one of the most devastating cyberattacks in Ukraine’s history in 2017 with the NotPetya virus, causing over $10 billion in damage worldwide. The virus, also disguised as ransomware, was a so-called “windshield wiper” that wiped out entire networks.

The United States has publicly accused Moscow of preparing to invade Ukraine and stressed that cybersecurity remains a key concern.

About Tammy N. McFarlane

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