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Ukraine targeted by suspected Russian cyberattack

Written by Fri 11 Feb 2022

At a time of growing tension in Ukraine, tech giant Microsoft recently announced the discovery of malware on a number of computers belonging to the Ukrainian government. The Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center (MSTIC) found the malware on January 13th and is still unsure of the exact purpose of the threat.

After analysis, MSTIC reports that while the malware is designed to look like ransomware, it does not have a ransom recovery mechanism. MSTIC now believe the malware was created to make the targeted devices unusable.

“These systems span multiple government, non-profit, and information technology organisations, all based in Ukraine. We do not know the current stage of this attacker’s operational cycle or how many other victim organisations may exist in Ukraine or other geographic locations,” explains MSTIC in a blog post. “However, it is unlikely these impacted systems represent the full scope of impact as other organisations are reporting.”

As a result of these intrusions, MSTIC has called on any government agency, non-profit or enterprise located or with systems in Ukraine to investigate their IT systems as a precaution.

According to the Ukrainian government, evidence they hold shows that Russia was the actor behind these attacks. “All evidence indicates that Russia is behind the cyberattack. Moscow continues to wage a hybrid war and is actively building up its forces in the information and cyberspaces,” said Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Development in a statement.

This is not the first time that Russia has been accused of targeting Ukraine with cyberattacks. Reports in 2017 indicated that Russia targeted Ukraine with the NotPetya virus, which deleted all data from a wide array of networks in the country, leading to damages of more than $10 billion. Several other cases of reportedly Russian cyberattacks were blamed for damaging the power grid across Ukraine, as well as almost wreaking Ukraine’s general election.

Written by Fri 11 Feb 2022


cloud and cybersecurity expo cyberattack cybersecurity Russia Ukraine
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