Ukraine reports massive cyberattack on government websites


FILE PHOTO: A man holds a laptop while cyber code is projected onto him in this illustrative image taken on May 13, 2017. REUTERS / Kacper Pempel / File photo

  • Ukraine said it was the target of a cyber attack.
  • The websites of the Ministries of Education, Cabinet, Foreign Affairs and Emergencies were down.
  • The website of the Foreign Ministry temporarily displayed a message that seemed to suggest that the attack was in response to Ukraine’s pro-Western stance.

Kiev on Friday reported a massive cyberattack on key government websites as tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine escalated after several rounds of fruitless talks.

The Education Ministry said on Facebook that its website was down due to a “global (cyber) attack” that had taken place overnight.

Other websites that were down included that of the cabinet and the foreign and emergency ministries.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Foreign Ministry website temporarily displayed a message in Ukrainian, Russian and Polish that seemed to suggest that the attack was in response to Ukraine’s pro-Western stance.

“Ukrainians! All your personal data … has been deleted and is impossible to restore. All information about you has been made public, be afraid and hope for the worst.”

“This is for their past, present and future. For Volyn, OUN, UPA, Galitsia, Polesye and for the historic lands,” he said, referring to the ultra-nationalist organizations and regions of Ukraine.

The Education Ministry said authorities, including the SBU security service and cyber police, were working to address the problem.

The attack comes as tensions rise between Russia and the West over Ukraine, a strategic country of the former Soviet Union.

The West has accused Russia of deploying tanks, artillery and some 100,000 troops to Ukraine’s war-torn eastern border in recent weeks, in what NATO says is preparation for an invasion. Moscow says it has no plans to invade Ukraine.

READ | Russia warns that it will sever ties with the US if it sanctions Putin for crisis in Ukraine

This week, the United States and its NATO allies held talks with Russia in an attempt to ease tensions, but all three rounds of negotiations, in Geneva, Brussels and Vienna, were unsuccessful.

On Thursday, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Moscow saw no reason to hold a new round of security talks with the West after a lack of progress.

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