Ukraine hit by massive cyberattack

Image of a horse's face. Credit: [email protected]

Massive cyberattack takes key Ukrainian sites offline

There are fears this evening, Tuesday, February 15, that Russia might have launched a ‘hybrid war’ against Ukraine. Several key websites have been taken offline by a massive cyberattack, including those of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence, and other government departments, plus some major banks.

Since the annexation of Crimea in 2014, attacks of this type by alleged Kremlin-backed hackers have become commonplace in Ukraine.
Outages have been reported by several major Ukrainian banks. PrivatBank, Oschad, and the State Savings Bank of Ukraine, have all this evening experienced internet problems. Media reports say that customers had mobile banking apps stop working, and online credit card transactions failed to complete.
Websites belonging to the Ministry of Defence, and the Ukrainian armed forces went offline. A statement posted on Facebook by the Ministry of Defence in Kyiv said that a probable DDoS attack had occurred. This is when a server or network is deliberately flooded with internet traffic to make it crash.
“Scheduled technical work is currently underway on the restoration of the regular functioning of the web portal of the ministry”, the message concluded.

The Centre for Strategic Innovation and Information Security, the government agency defending Ukraine against cyberattacks, tried to allay the public’s fears. They posted a clear message on their Facebook page – ‘ATTENTION: THERE IS NO THREAT FOR PRIVATBANK’S DEPOSITORS ‘FUNDS’.

It continued, “For the last few hours, Privatbank has been under a massive DDoS attack. Privat24 users report problems with payments and the application in general. Some users do not manage to log in to Privat24 at all, others do not display the balance and recent transactions”.

“Privat assures that there is no threat to depositors’ funds. The cyberattack concerns only the Privat24 application. The rest of the financial transactions are performed normally. Oschadbank also has failures, and Internet banking is down”, it added.

“The websites of the Ministry of Defense and the Armed Forces of Ukraine were also attacked. It is possible that the aggressor resorted to the tactics of petty mischief, because by and large, his aggressive plans do not work”, concluded the statement, as reported by dailymail.co.uk.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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