Friday, May 20, 2022

Ukraine says Russia behind cyber attack in ‘hybrid war’ Nation World News

KYIV, Ukraine ( Associated Press) – Ukraine said on Sunday that Russia was behind a cyberattack that sabotaged its government websites and alleged that Russia was waging a “hybrid war” against its neighbour.

The statement from the Ministry of Digital Development came a day after Microsoft said an unspecified number of computer systems from Ukraine’s government agencies had been infected with destructive malware disguised as ransomware. That revelation suggested that the attention-grabbing attack on official websites last week was a turning point.

“All the evidence suggests that Russia is behind the cyber attack. Moscow continues to wage a hybrid war and is actively building up its army in information and cyberspace, ”the ministry statement said.

The attack comes at a time when Ukraine is under threat of Russian aggression and diplomatic talks to resolve the tense standoff have been stalled.

Microsoft said in a brief blog post on Saturday that it detected the malware for the first time on Thursday. This would coincide with an attack that simultaneously took some 70 Ukrainian government websites temporarily offline.

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Microsoft said in a separate, technical post that the affected systems “extend to a number of government, non-profit and information technology organizations.” It said it did not know how many other organizations may be affected in Ukraine or elsewhere, but said it expected to learn of more infections.

On Sunday, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said US and private sector companies were still working to trace the source of the attacks. He said the United States has warned for months about the potential for cyberattacks from Russia and is working with Ukraine to improve that country’s security.

“It’s part of the Russian playbook,” he said on CBS Television’s “Face the Nation” program.

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A top private sector cybersecurity executive in Kiev, Ole Derevyanko, told The Associated Press that intruders entered government networks through a shared software supplier, such as the 2020 SolarWinds Russian cybersecurity campaign that targeted the US government.

In 2017, Russia targeted Ukraine with one of the most damaging cyber attacks on record with the NotPetya virus, causing more than $10 billion in damages globally. That virus, also disguised as ransomware, was a so-called “wiper” that wiped out entire networks.

In Friday’s mass web distortion, a message left by the attackers claimed they had destroyed the data and placed it online, which Ukrainian officials said had not happened.

The message called on Ukrainians to “fear and expect the worst”.


Frank Bajak in Boston and Hope Yen in Washington contributed to this story.


Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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