Ukraine says massive cyber attack has hit Government websites

·3-min read
 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

A massive cyber attack has hit a number of government websites in Ukraine.

Ukraine’s foreign ministry spokesperson said it was too early to say who could be behind the attack but said Russia had been behind similar strikes in the past.

The cyber attack, which hit the ministry of foreign affairs, the cabinet of ministers and the security and defence council among others, comes as Kyiv and its allies have sounded the alarm about a possible new Russian military offensive on Ukraine.

The strike hit on Thursday night, leaving some websites inaccessible on Friday morning and prompting Ukraine to open an investigation.

“Ukrainian! All your personal data was uploaded to the public network. All data on the computer is destroyed, it is impossible to restore it,” said a message visible on hacked government websites, written in Ukrainian, Russian and Polish.

“All information about you has become public, be afraid and expect the worst. This is for your past, present and future.”

A top Ukrainian security official told Reuters: “All subjects of cyber security were aware of such possible provocations by the Russian Federation. Therefore, the response to these incidents is carried out as usual.” Russia did not immediately comment on the cyber attack.

The United States warned on Thursday that the threat of a Russian military invasion was high, as diplomatic talks this week over the massing of some 100,000 Russian troops on the border it is feared is prelude to an invasion failed to make a breakthrough.

Russia, which annexed Ukraine’s Crimea Peninsula in 2014, has denied having plans to attack the neighbouring country.

A Ukrainian soldier walks in a trench at the line of separation from pro-Russian rebels, in the Donetsk region, Ukraine, Sunday, January 9, 2022. President Joe Biden has warned Russia's Vladimir Putin that the US could impose new sanctions against Russia if it takes further military action against Ukraine. (AP)
A Ukrainian soldier walks in a trench at the line of separation from pro-Russian rebels, in the Donetsk region, Ukraine, Sunday, January 9, 2022. President Joe Biden has warned Russia's Vladimir Putin that the US could impose new sanctions against Russia if it takes further military action against Ukraine. (AP)

It has presented demands that include a ban on Nato expansion and an end to the military alliance’s activity in central and eastern European countries that joined it after 1997. The US has dismissed large parts of the proposals as non-starters.

Russia raised the stakes Thursday in its dispute with the West over Ukraine and Nato’s expansion when a top diplomat refused to rule out a military deployment to Cuba and Venezuela if tensions with the United States escalate.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, who led the Russian delegation in talks this week, said he could “neither confirm nor exclude” the possibility of Russia sending military assets to Latin America if the U.S. and its allies don’t curtail their military activities on Russia’s doorstep.

“It all depends on the action by our U.S. counterparts,” the minister said in an interview with Russian television network RTVI, citing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s warning that Moscow could take unspecified “military-technical measures” if the U.S. and its allies fail to heed its demands.

US national security adviser Jake Sullivan dismissed the statements about a possible Russian deployment to Cuba and Venezuela as “bluster in the public commentary.”

Tensions revolving around Ukraine and Russia's demands on the West again appeared on the table at a Thursday meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Vienna.

Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau, who assumed the position of the OSCE’s chairman-in-office, noted in his opening speech that “the risk of war in the OSCE area is now greater than ever before in the last 30 years.”

Asked whether he's worried about possible confrontation, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said "it is absolutely essential that the dialogue that is taking place find a way allowing for de-escalation of tension ... to avoid any kind of confrontation that will be a disaster for Europe and for the world."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting