Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Ukraine ‘expects the worst’ as officials fear Russia is behind huge cyberattack

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Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry has warned citizens to “be afraid and expect the worst” after a massive cyberattack crippled several government websites overnight

Ukrainians have been warned to “be afraid and expect the worst” after government websites fell victim to a massive cyberattack.

The attack on Thursday night (January 13) hit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Cabinet of Ministers and the Security and Defense Council, leaving some websites inaccessible on Friday.

A message on the hacked government websites in Ukrainian, Russian and Polish read: “Ukrainian! All your personal information has been uploaded to the public network.

“All the data on the computer is destroyed, it is impossible to recover. All information about you has become public, be afraid and expect the worst. This applies to your past, present and future.”

The country’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko said it was too early to say who might be behind the attack, but said Russia has been behind similar attacks in the past, Reuters reports.

The statement said: “It is too early to draw conclusions, but there is a long history of Russian (cyber) attacks on Ukraine in the past.”

Nikolenko added in a statement to the Guardian: “As a result of a massive cyber attack, the websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other government agencies are temporarily unavailable.

“Our specialists have already started restoring the operability of IT systems and the cyber police have launched an investigation.”

The cyberattack that sparked an investigation comes as Kiev and its allies sounded the alarm about a possible new Russian military offensive against Ukraine.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has previously denied being behind cyber attacks on Ukraine and has not yet commented on the latest attack.

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However, the incident happened with 100,000 soldiers on the Ukrainian border as tensions between the two countries increased.

The White House said the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine remains high as they claim they are “inventing a pretext to justify one”.

Michael Carpenter, US Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), said: “The drumbeats of war are beating loud and the rhetoric has become quite shrill.”

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