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15 Feb, 2022 23:25

Ukraine reports massive cyberattack

Kiev authorities pointed the finger at Russia as government websites and bank services went down
Ukraine reports massive cyberattack

Ukraine has been quick to point the finger at Moscow after multiple government websites as well as popular banking services went down across the country on Tuesday, allegedly due to a distributed denial of service (DDoS) cyberattack. The Kiev authorities have yet to provide any evidence to support the accusation.

Ukraine’s Information Security Center said on Tuesday night that the large DDoS attack had affected Privatbank and Oshadbank, two of the country’s largest financial institutions, with their customers experiencing problems with banking apps and websites. The websites of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry and armed forces were also allegedly targeted.  

While the banking services resumed their operation shortly after the incident, the military sites remained down for hours after it was first reported. 

The Information Security Center has meanwhile pointed the finger at Moscow, suggesting it might have had a hand in the DDoS attack.

“It is possible that the aggressor resorted to petty mischief tactics, since its aggressive plans largely didn’t work,” the agency alleged, without providing any evidence of Russian involvement.

Kiev has often accused Moscow of being involved in cyberattacks on Ukraine before, but has so far failed to back up any of its claims. Russia has consistently denied its involvement in such incidents.

The DDoS attack came hours before what Western officials and media have been calling an ‘invasion’ date for an incursion into Ukraine by Russia. Some outlets even pinpointed 3am as the time at which the war would begin on February 16, citing unspecified US intelligence. Earlier on Tuesday, Moscow announced that it had begun withdrawing its military units from certain areas close to the Ukrainian border after the conclusion of massive military drills in Belarus. The move was met with “cautious optimism” by the US-led NATO bloc, though it said the pullback should be verified first before any conclusions can be made.

Tensions between Russia and the West have been soaring around Ukraine for months, with top Western officials and media repeatedly accusing Russia of seeking to attack its neighbor. Moscow has consistently denied the charges, maintaining that it has has no plans to attack Ukraine or any other country.