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14 Jan, 2022 10:01

Ukraine hit by huge cyber attack

The websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a number of other government agencies are temporarily down
Ukraine hit by huge cyber attack

Several websites run by Ukrainian government agencies fell victim to a serious cyberattack on Thursday night, leaving many inaccessible on Friday. The hackers left a warning for Ukrainians, telling them to “expect the worst.”

Writing on Twitter, Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Oleg Nikolenko described the hacking as a “massive cyberattack.”

“Our specialists have already started restoring the work of IT systems, and the cyber-police have opened an investigation,” he wrote.

Aside from the Foreign Ministry site, the hackers also went after the website for the Cabinet, as well as the Education, Agriculture, Energy, and Sports Ministries. The Diia portal, which provides Ukrainians with access to some 50 government services, was also made unavailable.

After hacking into the websites, the attackers placed a message on the home page in three languages: Ukrainian, Russian, and Polish.

“Ukrainians! … all your information has become public, be afraid and expect the worst. This is for your past, present, and future,” the message read, noting that all data on citizens would be destroyed and impossible to restore.

However, according to the Security Service of Ukraine, a preliminary investigation indicates that no personal data was leaked.

The hackers stated that the attack had been initiated as revenge against the Ukrainian far right. In particular, it mentioned the Volhynia massacre of 1943-45, when up to 100,000 Poles were ethnically cleansed by the Nazi-supporting Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army.

While no blame has yet been accorded, Nikolenko noted that there had been a “long record of Russian cyber-assaults against Ukraine in the past,” apparently suggesting Moscow could be behind the latest attack.

The hack comes as tensions remain high between Ukraine and Russia. Concerns over potential conflict have risen in recent months, with Moscow being accused of having placed around 100,000 troops on its western border.