“But there is a long record of Russian cyber assaults against Ukraine in the past, he said.
A cyberattack left various Ukrainian government sites briefly inaccessible on Friday, authorities said. While it wasn’t quickly clear who was behind the cyberattack, the disturbance came in the midst of elevated strains with Russia and after talks among Moscow and the West neglected to yield any huge progress this week. Ukrainian Foreign Ministry representative Oleg Nikolenko told The Associated Press it was too early to tell who might have been behind the assault.
Moscow had previously denied involvement in cyberattacks against Ukraine.
The websites of the country’s Cabinet, seven ministries, the Treasury, the National Emergency Service and the state services website, where Ukrainians’ electronic passports and vaccination certificates are stored, were temporarily unavailable Friday as a result of the hack.
The websites contained a message in Ukrainian, Russian and Polish, saying that Ukrainians’ personal data has been leaked into the public domain.
Be afraid and expect the worst. This is for your past, present and future,” the message read, in part.
Ukraine’s State Service of Communication and Information Protection said that no personal data has been leaked.
The country’s minister for digital transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, insisted that personal data was safe, since the operability of the websites, not the registries, was affected by the hack.
Fedorov said that some of the attacked websites were blocked by their administrators in order to contain the damage and investigate the attacks. He added that a large part of the affected websites have been restored.
The US estimates Russia has massed about 100,000 troops near Ukraine, a buildup that has stoked fears of an invasion. Moscow says it has no plans to attack and rejects Washington’s demand to pull back its forces, saying it has the right to deploy them wherever necessary.
The Kremlin has demanded security guarantees from the West that NATO wouldn’t expand eastward. Last month, Moscow submitted draft security documents demanding that NATO deny membership to Ukraine and other former Soviet countries and roll back the alliance’s military deployments in Central and Eastern Europe.
Washington and its allies have refused to provide such pledges, but said they are ready for the talks. High-stakes talks this week between Moscow and the US, followed by a meeting of Russia and NATO representatives and a meeting at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, failed to bring about any immediate progress.
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Friday that the 27-nation bloc is ready to mobilise all its resources to provide technical assistance to Ukraine and help it improve its capacity to weather cyberattacks. Borrell told a a meeting of EU foreign ministers in the French port city of Brest that the bloc would mobilise its cyber rapid response teams.
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