Ukraine says another sweeping cyberattack underway as state websites and banks hit

Figurines with computers and smartphones are seen in front of the words “Cyber ​​Attack”, binary codes and the Ukrainian flag, in this illustration taken February 15, 2022. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration / File Photo

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KYIV, Feb 23 (Reuters) – The websites of Ukraine’s government, foreign ministry and state security service were down on Wednesday in what the government said was the start of another massive denial of service (DDoS) attack that began at around 4 pm (1400 GMT).

Ukrainian authorities said this week they had seen online warnings that hackers were preparing to launch major attacks on government agencies, banks and the defense sector.

Ukraine has suffered a string of cyberattacks that Kyiv has blamed on Russia. Moscow, which has been caught up in a mounting confrontation with the West over Ukraine, has denied any involvement.

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“At about 4 pm, another mass DDoS attack on our state began. We have relevant data from a number of banks,” said Mykhailo Fedorov, Minister of Digital Transformation, adding that the parliament website was also hit.

He did not mention which banks were affected and the central bank could not immediately be reached for comment.

The online networks of Ukraine’s defense ministry and two banks were overwhelmed last week in a separate cyberattack. The US company Netscout Systems Inc (NTCT.O) later said the impact had been modest. read more

Internet blockage observatory NetBlocks posted a tweet on Thursday that showed a drop-off in connections to the Ukrainian government websites.

“We’ve observed that the current network disruption has partial impact on the network layer to multiple defense and ministerial websites in Ukraine,” NetBlocks director Alp Toker told Reuters.

“The spread of outages is similar but distinct from the recent DDOS attack targeting defense and banking platforms, with the latter not impacted in this instance,” he added.

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Reporting by Maria Tsvetkova and Natalia Zinets in Kyiv and James Pearson in London; writing by Matthias Williams; Editing by Alex Richardson

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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