This is a breaking news story and will be updated:
Updated at 12:50 pm.
Several Ukrainian government, agency, and embassy websites were down on the morning of Jan. 14 in a suspected cyberattack.
The Cabinet of Ministers’ server was not responding to visits while the Foreign Ministry for at least an hour was defaced with a message in Ukrainian, Russian and Polish.
Ukraine’s national symbol, the trident, as well as a map and its flag were crossed out on the home page of the foreign ministry’s site:
“Ukrainians!… All information about you has become public, be afraid and expect the worse,” the tri-lingual message read.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Oleh Nikolenko told Reuters it was too early to say who could be responsible for the attack but said Russia had been behind similar attacks in the past.
Nikolenko tweeted separately.
Josep Borrell, the European Union’s top foreign policy minister, said he has no evidence of who launched the cyberattack on Ukraine but said, “we can imagine who is behind it.”
Speaking in the French city of Brest, he continued:
The content of the hacked sites was not changed, and no personal data was leaked, the State Service of Special Communication and Information Protection said on its Facebook page.
The attacks came a day after the third round of security talks between the West and Russia ended in deadlock this week over Moscow’s demands for a severe rollback of NATO’s presence in eastern Europe as well as an end to Ukraine’s cooperation with the 30-member defense alliance.
Russia has threatened “technical and military measures” if its demands, outlined in two draft treaties published on Dec. 17, are not met. More than 100,000 Russian troops and heavy weaponry have been stationed near Ukraine’s state borders amid an ongoing war in eastern Ukraine that Russia started unprovoked eight years ago.
The Kyiv Post noticed the sites of the education, agricultural, sports, and energy ministries were not responding to homepage visits.
Additionally, the Emergency Services Agency and Security and Defense Council websites were down, as was the e-government services website known as Dia.
Several foreign embassy sites were also not responding, including the diplomatic missions in the U.S and Germany.
In October 2020, the U.S. charged six Russians who were either current or former members of Russia’s GRU military intelligence with carrying out cyberattacks on Ukraine's power grid, the 2017 French presidential elections, and the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Last month alone, Ukraine’s SBU security service stopped 59 cyber attacks on information systems belonging to government agencies, the Ukrainian service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported. More than 1,000 similar cyberattacks, including on critical infrastructure, were neutralized in the first half of 2021, the domestic intelligence agency added.
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