Posted by on January 14, 2022 11:09 am
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Ukrainian government targeted by cyberattack as heightened tension with Russia continues

Despite an increase in cyberattacks over the past few years, federal agencies are still not doing enough to thwart them. (Thinkstock) maxkabakov

Ukrainian government targeted by cyberattack as heightened tension with Russia continues

Mike Brest January 14, 10:27 AMJanuary 14, 10:27 AM

Multiple websites associated with the Ukrainian government were hit with a cyberattack on Friday, leaving them temporarily unavailable.

The cyberattack included a warning on the affected websites — belonging to government agencies such as the seven ministries, the Treasury, the National Emergency Service, and others — that reads in part: “Be afraid and expect the worst. This is for your past, present and future.”

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“As a result of a massive hacking attack, the websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a number of other government agencies are temporarily down. Our specialists are already working on restoring the work of IT systems,” a spokesman for the foreign ministry tweeted.

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While no group has taken credit for the attack yet, the Ukrainian Information Ministry pointed the finger at Russia.

“According to an investigation by the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security, the first data suggests that the attack was carried out by the Russian Federation,” the Ukrainian Information Ministry said in a statement. “This is not the first time or even the second time that Ukrainian Internet resources have been attacked since the beginning of the Russian military aggression.“

The message posted on the sites also warned users their personal data were compromised.

“Ukrainian! All your personal data has been uploaded to the public network. All data on the computer is destroyed, it is impossible to restore them,” the message read, published in Ukrainian, Russian and Polish.

“All information about you has become public, be afraid and wait for the worst. This is for you for your past, present and future. For Volhynia, for the [Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists Ukrainian Insurgent Army], for Galicia, for Polesie and for historical lands,” the web page read.

The Ukraine Ministry of Culture and Information Policy said the text on the sites was a “way to conceal the ‘Russian footprint’ by hackers.”

The attack occurred hours after talks between Russia and Western countries stalled and as Russia appears to be on the precipice of invading Ukraine. Russia has amassed a large military presence on the border, though they have downplayed it.

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Russian and U.S. leaders met earlier this week in an attempt to simmer the already heightened tensions over Russia’s military buildup near the Ukrainian border and the threat of a possible invasion. Russia, in turn, wants NATO to stay out of Ukraine and other nations formerly part of the Soviet Union, though both sides have balked at the other’s demands.

“There was no commitment to de-escalation, no,” Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, who led the U.S. delegation to meet Russian officials in Geneva and then in Brussels, told reporters earlier this week. “There was no commitment to de-escalate, nor was there a statement that there would not be.”

Following the conclusion of the talks, Russian Ambassador Alexander Lukashevich made an overt threat of war if U.S. and Western European leaders continue to resist Moscow’s demands.

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Originally appeared at Washington Examiner

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