Cyberattack knocks out Ukrainian government websites – POLITICO

Unidentified hackers defaced and disrupted several Ukrainian government websites on Friday, a day after a series of diplomatic talks between Russia and the West ended in a stalemate.

“Ukrainian, fear and prepare for the worst. All your personal data has been uploaded to the web,” the message was written in Ukrainian, Russian and Polish before the page was deleted. There is currently no indication that the threat is legitimate. The letter also referred to the historical and border disputes between Ukraine and Poland.

Reports of an attack first surfaced around 5 a.m., with a threatening message appearing when people tried to access the website of the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Agriculture.

“As a result of a massive hacking attack, the websites of the State Department and a number of other government agencies have been temporarily disrupted. Our specialists are already working to restore the functioning of IT systems,” a State Department spokesperson said. chirp.

The West this week held talks with Russia, trying to calm the situation on Ukraine’s eastern border, where the Kremlin has amassed more than 100,000 troops, and with the imminent threat of another invasion.

Cyber ​​security experts said they I noticed Increasing attempts to infiltrate the networks of the Ukrainian government from Russia during the past weeks. The US and UK have deployed experts to help prepare Ukraine for cyberattacks as the Kremlin increases pressure on the border, the New York Times reported last month.

NATO diplomats in briefings on security talks with Russia this week said they expect any military attack by Russia will be accompanied by mixed strikes, including cyber attacks and an active disinformation campaign.

Hackers attacked Ukraine’s power grid in December 2015, leading to power outages for about 230,000 households. A similar attack on power grids occurred back in 2016 and the country was the epicenter of a global ransomware outbreak in 2017 known as NotPetya. The attacks were later attributed to a Russian hacking group known as “Sandworm”.

David Herzenhorn and Lorenz Cerullos contributed to the report.

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