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‘Prepare for the worst’: Ukrainian government websites targeted by cyberattack

A massive cyberattack on Ukraine has targeted more than a dozen government websites, with suspected Russian hackers leaving a message warning Ukrainians to “be afraid and expect the worst.”

The hacking comes amid heightened tensions between Ukraine and its neighbor Russia, which has amassed around 100,000 troops on the border between the two countries.

“Following a massive hacking attack, the websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a number of other government agencies are temporarily down. Our specialists are already working on restoring the functioning of computer systems, ”said a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry. Friday.

They confirmed that the government had opened an investigation into the attack, saying it was “too early to draw conclusions” on the culprit.

But the spokesperson added that “there is a long record of Russian cyber attacks against Ukraine”.

One of the platforms concerned is the website of Ukrainian state services, which holds citizens’ electronic passports and vaccination certificates.

However, the country’s authorities said that personal data had not been compromised, as hackers claimed in a threat message – written in Ukrainian, Russian and Polish – left on websites they had disabled. .

“Ukrainian! All your personal data has been uploaded to the public network. All data on the computer is destroyed, it is impossible to restore it,” it read.

“All information about you has become public, be afraid and expect the worst. It is for your past, your present and your future,” the post concludes.

On Friday morning, Josep Borrell, the EU’s top diplomat, condemned the cyberattack and said the bloc would support Kiev. “We will mobilize all our resources to help Ukraine fight this cyberattack. Unfortunately, we knew it could happen,” he told reporters at a rally of EU foreign leaders in Brest. , in France.

“It’s hard to say (who’s behind). I can’t blame anyone because I have no proof, but you can imagine,” he added.

Meanwhile, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Lind has said the West will stand firm with Russia and support Ukraine against any aggression from Moscow.

The large-scale hacking of Ukrainian government websites follows unsuccessful diplomatic talks this week between Russia and the West over the situation in Europe.

One of the most difficult issues to resolve is Moscow’s demand that NATO withdraw its troops from countries bordering Russia and stop accepting new members, stipulations that have been rejected by the West.

Speaking of the deadlock, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday that his country was “at the end of its patience”.

“The West has been driven by pride and exacerbated tensions in violation of its obligations and common sense,” he said.

Agencies contributed to this report


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