On Tuesday, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry suffered a DDoS attack that blocked users from accessing its website, and two Ukrainian banks lost access to online banking services, according to government statements.
In one Tweeter released around 7:00 p.m. local time (12:00 p.m. ET), the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense said its website was likely hit by a DDoS attack and work to restore service was underway. Four hours later, the site was still not accessible.
The DDoS attack comes as Russia has claimed to defuse a potential conflict by withdrawing its troops from the Ukrainian border – a statement that was met with “cautious optimism” by NATO, but also faced skepticism amid of a series of contradictory signals from the Russian army. .
At the same time, two banks were also victims of a denial of service attack that took ATMs offline and prevented some customers from withdrawing or transferring funds online.
According to a statement from the Ukrainian government’s Center for Strategic Communications, PrivatBank faced a “massive DDoS attack” that blocked many online banking services, including payments and balance inquiries, but did not affect users. basic banking services or jeopardize customer funds. Oschadbank also lost all online banking functionality, the statement said. Hours later, another Ukrainian government statement said banks had resumed online service.
The cyberattack has still not been attributed to a specific actor by the Ukrainian government or US officials, although in light of the current military situation, many suspect Russian involvement.
Opinions are divided on whether today’s attacks – which are relatively common in Russian-Ukrainian relations – represent a precursor to military activity or a return to normalcy. Matt Tait, a security analyst known as pwnallthethings, tweeted that DDoS was not “part of the invasion” and urged caution in reporting.
Other cybersecurity industry sources also downplayed the severity of the attack. “We can confirm the DDOS attacks but see no indication that their impact is critical…this activity could be to maintain a sense of pressure on Ukraine in the face of more positive news over the past day,” said the director of Cisco. threat intelligence Matthew Olney, per tweet shared by cybersecurity journalist Kim Zetter.
But according to reports from the Washington Postrecently declassified intelligence suggests Russian government hackers have likely already compromised critical Ukrainian infrastructure and would unleash far more damaging attacks if invaded.
the To postThe report quotes an official familiar with intelligence documents to claim that Russia would be able to disrupt services such as electricity, transport, finance and telecommunications, either in direct support of military operations or to create a sense of panic that would destabilize the country.
Reached by email, a representative of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) declined to make a statement on the situation but ordered The edge to an information page detailing preparedness measures taken to reduce the likelihood of a Russian cyberattack on the United States.