Feb 23, 2022 - World

Cyberattack hits Ukrainian government and banks

A sign on the outside of Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs building.
Photo: STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A cyberattack on Wednesday struck Ukrainian government websites and banks, the country's digital minister confirmed on Telegram.

Why it matters: Ukraine's government on Monday warned of plans organized on online hacking forums to launch a spate of cyberattacks against the country's public, banking and defense sectors amid escalating tensions with Russia.

What they're saying: The websites of Ukraine's Cabinet of Ministers, Parliament, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ministry of Defense, as well as the web pages of multiple banks, were affected by Wednesday's “mass distributed denial-of-service attack," according to Ukraine's Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov.

  • The U.S. has repeatedly warned that it believes Moscow has been behind recent cyberattacks against Ukraine and that such actions would be a key component of a major Russian invasion of Ukraine.
  • Ukraine has now suffered at least three major cyberattacks against its government financial websites since January.

The big picture: Ukraine declared a 30-day state of emergency Wednesday in response to Russia's recognition of two separatist "republics" in eastern Ukraine as independent and the deployment of troops for "peacekeeping" operations in the regions.

  • The U.S. said Tuesday that Russia's recent moves represented the start of an invasion of Ukraine.
  • Multiple countries, including the U.S., announced sanctions against Moscow on Monday and Tuesday, while German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also froze the certification process for the Russia-to-Germany Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline.
  • As part of the state of emergency, Ukrainian military reservists between the ages of 18 and 60 were called into service and civilians have been allowed to carry firearms.

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