Government websites down after hacking attack


KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A number of Ukrainian government websites were down Friday after a huge hacking attack, Ukrainian officials and media said.

While it’s not immediately clear who was behind the attacks, they come amid heightened tensions with Russia and after talks between Moscow and the West failed to yield any significant progress this week.

“Following a massive hacking attack, the websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a number of other government agencies are temporarily unavailable. Our specialists are already working on restoring the functioning of computer systems,” Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko wrote on Facebook on Friday.

According to the Ukrainskaya Pravda newspaper, the websites of the country’s Cabinet, seven ministries, the Treasury, the State Emergency Service and the State Services website, where electronic passports and vaccination certificates of Ukrainians, were unavailable as a result of the hack.

The report also states that the Foreign Ministry website contains a message in Ukrainian, Russian and Polish, stating that Ukrainians’ personal data has been leaked into the public domain. “Be afraid and expect the worst. This is for your past, your present and your future,” the post read in part.

Ukrainian security officials said no personal data was leaked.

The United States estimates that Russia has massed around 100,000 troops near Ukraine, a buildup that has fueled fears of an invasion. Moscow says it has no intention of attacking and rejects Washington’s request to withdraw its forces, saying it has the right to deploy them wherever needed.

The Kremlin demanded security guarantees from the West preventing NATO’s eastward expansion.

Last month, Moscow submitted draft security documents demanding that NATO refuse membership to Ukraine and other former Soviet countries and cancel the alliance’s military deployments in central and eastern Europe. Washington and its allies declined to provide such promises, but said they were ready for talks.

High-stakes talks this week between Moscow and the United States, followed by a meeting of Russian and NATO representatives and a meeting at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, will not resulted in no progress.

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