Ukraine says Russia likely to blame for cyberattack

Associated Press/Alexander Zemlianichenko

Ukrainian officials blamed Russia for the Tuesday cyberattack that hit the country’s defense ministry and at least two banks.

Russia has denied involvement in what Ukraine called the largest cyberattack it has ever experienced, Reuters reported.

In a Wednesday news conference, Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov called the attack “unprecedented” and said the IP addresses involved in the attacks were from China, Russia, Uzbekistan and the Czech Republic.

“The key goal of this attack is destabilization, it is to sow panic, to do everything so that a certain chaos appears in our country,” Fedorov said, according to the news wire. “And today we know that the only country that is interested in such … attacks on our state, especially against the backdrop of massive panic about a possible military invasion, the only country that is interested is the Russian Federation.”

The news comes amid fears that Russia is planning to invade Ukraine, with an estimated 130,000 troops amassed at the border, despite Russia’s claims that it is pulling back some of its forces.

Adam Meyers, the senior vice president of intelligence for Crowdstrike, said his company observed multiple distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks against targets in Ukraine, indicating a “broader information operation involving SMS messages.”

“The DDOS attacks targeted Ukrainian servers associated with government and financial institutions. Telemetry acquired during the attacks indicates a large volume of traffic three orders of magnitude more than regularly observed traffic, with 99% of this traffic consisting of HTTPs requests, indicating the attackers were attempting to overwhelm Ukrainian servers,” he said in a statement.

In January, Ukrainian officials also blamed Russia for a cyberattack on government websites.

Updated at 3:49 p.m.

Tags Cyberattack Mykhailo Fedorov Russia Ukraine Ukrainian defense ministry

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