Ukraine hit with data-wiping malware attack
Ukrainian government websites were hit with cyberattacks Thursday that included data-wiping malware.
The malware activated a day before, the Associated Press reported. Cybersecurity researchers said the malware infected hundreds of computers, including some in neighboring Latvia and Lithuania.
The attacks appears to have been in preparation for as much as three months, researchers said.
Ukraine has been a target for cyberattacks for a week. It was hit with a denial-of-service attack that continued to keep government websites offline Wednesday and cause sporadic internet outages across the country, Doug Madory, director of internet analysis for the U.S. network management firm Kentik Inc, told AP.
The U.S. and its allies were quick to blame the denial-of-service attacks on Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency. Denial-of-service attacks flood websites with junk data, rendering them unreachable.
Ukraine’s internet was “under severe stress presently,” Madory said.
Measures in place to block the attacks were successful, as the Ukraine defense and interior ministries’ websites were functioning Thursday.
Some Russian websites were also under attack. The military and Kremlin sites, hosted by the Russia Sate internet Network, were unreachable or slow to load.
Ukraine and NATO leaders have warned for months that Russia may use cyberattacks as a precursor for invasion. Such attacks were a key Russian tool against Ukraine in 2014 and against Estonia in 2007 and Georgia in 2008.