A massive cyber attack that warned Ukrainians to “fear and expect the worst” on government websites was hit Thursday night, leaving some websites inaccessible on Friday morning and prompting Ukraine to open an investigation.
A Ukrainian foreign ministry spokesman told Reuters it was too early to say who might be behind the attack, but said Russia had been behind similar strikes in the past.
The cyber attack, which hit the Foreign Ministry, Cabinet and Security and Defense Council among others, comes as Kiev and its allies have sounded the alarm about a possible new military attack on Ukraine.
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Russia has previously denied responsibility for the cyber attacks on Ukraine.
“Ukrainian! All your personal data has been uploaded to the public network. “All data on the computer has been destroyed, and it is impossible to recover,” said a message appearing on the hacked government websites, written in Ukrainian, Russian and Polish.
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“All information about you has become public, fear and expect the worst. This is for your past, present and future.”
Russia warns NATO of further deterioration of relations
The United States warned on Thursday that the risk of a Russian military invasion was high. Russia said the dialogue was continuing but deadlocked as it tried to persuade the West to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO and roll back decades of alliance expansion in Europe — demands the United States called “non-starter”.
“It is too early to draw conclusions, but there is a long record of Russian aggression against Ukraine in the past,” a foreign ministry spokesman told Reuters.
A senior Ukrainian security official told Reuters: “All people involved in cybersecurity were aware of such possible provocations from the Russian Federation. Therefore, these incidents are being responded to as usual.”
(Writing by Mathias Williams, Editing by Toby Chopra)