The websites of many government organisations in Ukraine were taken down by a cyberattack on Friday, according to Ukraine. Authorities did not immediately respond to a request for information on the cause of the outage, which comes as tensions with Russia have risen as a result of the latter’s deployment of thousands of troops along the border.
On Twitter, a representative for Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry stated that the websites had been hacked and that authorities were attempting to restore services. He didn’t say who he thought was behind the attack, which targeted his agency’s website as well as those of the Agriculture and Education Ministries, as well as government employees.
All of those websites were offline, with messages in Russian, Polish, and Ukrainian temporarily replacing their content.
“Ukrainian! The notice stated, “All of your personal data has been transferred to the public network.” “Your computer’s data is being deleted and will not be recovered.” Fear and prepare for the worst now that all information about you has been public. It added, “This is being done to you for your past, present, and future,” referring to “historic lands.”
As relations between the two neighbours have deteriorated since a 2014 conflict, Ukraine has previously accused Russia of waging serious cyber strikes against it. Ukraine and its allies in the United States and Europe have warned that Russia is prepared to invade after massing 100,000 troops near the border in recent months. Moscow has vehemently denied any such ambitions.
A request for comment on the cyber attack was not immediately returned by a Kremlin spokeswoman.
The United States and its allies have warned that Russia may use hacking or other non-military means to exert pressure on Ukraine. Russia denies using cyber weapons for hostile purposes, but President Vladimir Putin has suggested that “patriotic hackers” may step forward to defend the country’s interests online.
As tensions have risen in recent months, the US and its allies have been preparing a package of sanctions to respond to a hypothetical invasion or future acts of Russian aggression, however it’s unclear if a cyber assault linked to Moscow would provoke major reprisal.
After 10 a.m. in Kyiv, trading in the Ukrainian currency and government bonds begins. The ruble was 0.4 percent stronger versus the dollar at 9:59 a.m. in Moscow. On Thursday, the ruble fell to its lowest level since October 2020, after a senior Russian diplomat said Moscow’s demands for security guarantees from the US and its allies had reached a “dead end.”