“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,” the ministry statement said.
The statement from the Ministry of Digital Development came a day after Microsoft said dozens of computer systems at an unspecified number of Ukrainian government agencies had been infected with destructive malware disguised as ransomware. That disclosure suggested the attention-grabbing defacement attack on official websites last week was a diversion.
Ukraine says that Russia is increasing its “hybrid war” against them.
The attack comes as the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine looms and diplomatic talks to resolve the tense standoff appear stalled.
Microsoft said in a short blog post Saturday that it first detected the malware on Thursday stating that the affected systems “span multiple government, non-profit, and information technology organizations.” That would coincide with the attack that simultaneously took some 70 Ukrainian government websites temporarily offline.
U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said U.S. and private-sector companies were still working to determine the source of the attacks. He said the United States has warned for months about the possibility of cyberattacks from Russia and has been working with Ukraine to improve that country’s defenses.
“This is part of the Russian playbook,” he said on CBS television’s “Face the Nation” program.
In Friday’s mass web defacement, a message left by the attackers claimed they had destroyed data and placed it online, which Ukrainian authorities said had not happened.
Ukrainian government might want to heed the message telling Ukrainians to “be afraid and expect the worst.”
– Meriqua Whyte