Ukraine admits involvement of Russian special services in cyberattacks on government websites | News from Germany about Ukraine | DW

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The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has received preliminary data suggesting that hacker groups associated with Russian intelligence services may be behind the massive cyber attack on government websites on the night of January 13-14. On Friday, January 14, Oleg Nikolenko, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, wrote about this on Twitter.

The SBU clarified that investigative measures are being carried out jointly with the State Service for Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine, as well as with Cyber ​​Police officers.

Could have been a “supply chain attack”

Representatives of the Security Service of Ukraine recalled that in total more than 70 state websites were attacked, 10 of which were subjected to unauthorized interference. The content, however, was not changed, and there was no leakage of personal data.

At this stage, the work of most sites has been resumed. At the same time, at the initiative of the SBU, a number of state online resources were disabled, including the public services portal. This was done to localize the technical problem and prevent the attack from deepening. The mobile app is working normally.

According to experts, the so-called supply chain attack (“attack through the supply chain”) most likely took place. Cybercriminals hacked into the infrastructure of a commercial company that had access to the rights to administer the resources that were affected by the attack.

Massive cyber attack on state websites in Ukraine

In the next two days, experts will continue the investigation. “So far, we can say that there are some signs of involvement in the incident of hacker groups associated with the special services of the Russian Federation,” the SBU summarized.

On the night of January 14, cybercriminals attacked a number of online government resources in Ukraine, including the websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education and Science. A number of portals posted threatening messages in Ukrainian, Russian and Polish.

NATO and Kiev will sign an agreement on strengthening cyber cooperation

Against this background, it became known that the EU would convene a meeting of the Committee on Politics and Security, as well as representatives of the EU cyber units, to decide how to help Ukraine respond to a cyber attack, and what kind of technical assistance Brussels can provide Kiev to improve its ability to resist such attacks.

This was announced by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell in French Brest, where an informal meeting of the EU foreign and defense ministers was held. “I can’t blame anyone because I don’t have evidence, but we can imagine” who is behind the attack, the head of European diplomacy said.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, in turn, said that NATO and Ukraine will sign an agreement on strengthening cooperation in the field of cybersecurity in the coming days.

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