THE RUSSIA CONNECTIONMassive Cyberattack Targeting Ukraine’s Government Websites

Published 14 January 2022

Several Ukrainian government websites have been targeted in a massive cyberattack amid heightened tensions between the West and Russia, which has massed troops and military equipment near the border with Ukraine.

Several Ukrainian government websites have been targeted in a massive cyberattack amid heightened tensions between the West and Russia, which has massed troops and military equipment near the border with Ukraine.

The news was first reported early on January 14 by the Ukrainian Ministry of Education on its Facebook page. Kyiv later said the cyberattack had not changed the content of any of the government websites targeted and that no personal data had been leaked.

Due to the global attack on the night of Jan. 13-14, 2022, the official website of the Ministry of Education and Science is temporarily down,” the ministry said.

Josep Borrell, the European Union’s top diplomat, condemned the cyberattack and said the EU’s political and security committee and cyberunits would meet to see how to respond and help Kyiv.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also condemned the attack, adding the alliance’s cyberexperts were exchanging information with their Ukrainian counterparts.

In a statement, Ukraine’s government said that a number of other state websites had been suspended to prevent the attack from spreading, though most of the affected state resources had already been restored.

During the cyberattack, a message appeared on the website of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry written in Ukrainian, Russian, and Polish, warning Ukrainians to “be afraid and expect the worst.”

On some of the websites, a text appeared in the same three languages saying all data of Ukrainians uploaded to the network had become public.

We are going to mobilize all our resources to help Ukraine to tackle this cyberattack. Sadly, we knew it could happen,” Borrell told reporters at an EU foreign ministers meeting in the western French port city of Brest.

It’s difficult to say (who is behind it). I can’t blame anybody as I have no proof, but we can imagine.”

Stoltenberg said NATO and Ukraine would soon sign an agreement to strengthen cybercooperation in the coming days.

NATO and Ukraine will sign an agreement on enhanced cybercooperation, including Ukrainian access to NATO’s malware information sharing platform. NATO’s strong political and practical support for Ukraine will continue,” Stoltenberg said.

No group has taken responsibility for the attack, but Russian hackers linked to Moscow have repeatedly been blamed for cyberattacks on Ukrainian government websites and infrastructure in the past.

The West has accused Russia of deploying tanks, artillery and about 100,000 soldiers on Ukraine’s war-torn eastern border in recent weeks, in what NATO says is preparation for an invasion.

This article is reprinted with permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).

Leave a comment

Register for your own account so you may participate in comment discussion. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to abide by our Comment Guidelines, our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Use. Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief. Names are displayed with all comments. Learn more about Joining our Web Community.

Hits: 2

Nuclear weapons, nuclear arsenals, nuclear warheads, nuclear proliferation 1/15/2022 National Security and Korean News and Commentary