Ukraine warns Russian hackers may be preparing for major strike

Ukraine warns Russian hackers may be preparing for major strike

Russian hackers are targeting Ukrainian companies with malware that could precede a larger attack, Ukraine’s cyber police chief warned Tuesday.

Serhiy Demedyuk, Ukraine’s cyber police chief, told Reuters that Russian hackers are infecting computers at Ukrainian banks and energy firms. The malicious software includes a “back door” that he believes allows for a larger, coordinated cyberattack.

“Analysis of the malicious software that has already been identified and the targeting of attacks on Ukraine suggest that this is all being done for a specific day,” Demedyuk said.

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Ukrainian police and foreign authorities are working to identify those responsible for the attacks, Reuters reported.

Demedyuk likened the scale of the looming attack to NotPetya, a massive malware attack that affected computers around the world.

The United States and the United Kingdom blamed Russia for the attack, which locked individuals out of their computer systems and demanded $300 in bitcoin payments. The individuals who paid the ransom did not regain access to their files.

Russia denied that it was responsible for the NotPetya attack.

Tensions have been high between Russia and Ukraine for years, but reached new levels in 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine.

Ukrainian officials went public with the threat of a new Russian cyberattack as President TrumpDonald John TrumpSecret Service members who helped organize Pence Arizona trip test positive for COVID-19: report Trump administration planning pandemic office at the State Department: report Iran releases photo of damaged nuclear fuel production site: report MORE is set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the coming weeks.

Trump has been criticized for his reluctance to speak out against Putin, particularly after U.S. officials concluded Russia sought to interfere in the 2016 election.