Ukrainian government websites hacked as Russia tensions heighten

A number of Ukrainian government websites have been hacked in what appears to be a coordinated attack as anxieties between Russia and Ukraine continue to climb.

According to Cyberscoop, a series Ukrainian government websites were temporarily unavailable last Friday.

Due to the attack, the websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Emergency Service, the Treasury and the states services website were brought down.

Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko told The Associated Press that while it was too early to say who was behind the attacks, ‘there is a long record of Russian cyber assaults against Ukraine in the past’.

Following the attack, a message was posted to the sites in Ukrainian, Russian and Polish warning personal data had been leaked – a claim denied by Ukraine – as well as the message ‘Be afraid and expect the worst. This is for your past, present and future’. The major hack comes as Russia’s military build-up on the Ukraine border continues to grow.

Madiant VP of intelligence John Hultquist said, “This incident could be the work of government actors or government-sponsored actors, or it could have been done by elements of civil society reacting independently. Historically, most defacements have been low-level hackers who sometimes leave patriotic messages on targets, but government-sponsored actors have carried out this type of activity as well. It’s important not to overestimate the capability necessary to carry out this attack.”

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