Internet ART

Hackers Bring Down Government Sites in Ukraine

Hackers Bring Down Government Sites in Ukraine
Written by publisher team

Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general of NATO, who just days earlier had been in negotiations in Brussels with a Russian delegation asking for a halt in cooperation with Ukraine, responded to the cyberattack by saying that NATO would increase its coordination with Kyiv on cyberdefenses.

“I strongly condemn the cyberattacks on the Ukrainian Government,” Mr. Stoltenberg said in a statement, adding, “NATO & Ukraine will step up cyber cooperation & we will continue our strong political & practical support.” A NATO spokesman clarified that the alliance would in the coming days sign an agreement providing Ukraine access to a NATO information sharing system to fight malware.

The European Union’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, told a gathering of European foreign ministers on Friday that the bloc would mobilize cyber-response teams and assist Ukraine with cyberdefenses.

Often, untangling the digital threads of such cyberoperations can take days or weeks, which is one of the appeals of their use in modern conflicts. Sophisticated cybertools have turned up in standoffs between Israel and Iran, and the United States blamed Russia for using hacking to influence the 2016 election in the United States to benefit Donald J. Trump.

Ukraine has long been viewed as a testing ground for Russian online operations, a sort of free-fire zone for cyberweaponry in a country already entangled in a real world shooting war with Russian-backed separatists in two eastern provinces. The US government has traced some of the most drastic cyberattacks of the past decade to Russian actions in Ukraine.

Tactics seen first in Ukraine have later popped up elsewhere. A Russian military spyware strain called X-Agent, or Sofacy, that Ukrainian cyber experts say was used to hack Ukraine’s Central Election Commission during a 2014 presidential election, for example, was later found in the server of the Democratic National Committee in the United States after the electoral hacking attacks in 2016.

Other types of malware like BlackEnergy, Industroyer and KillDisk, intended to sabotage computers used to control industrial processes, shut down electrical substations in Ukraine in 2015 and 2016, causing blackouts, including in the capital, Kyiv.

About the author

publisher team