The Ukrainian army is on high alert. Image: Shutterstock
Ukraine’s Defense Ministry, Armed Forces and two major banks were all hit by a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack this week as the country remains in a tense standoff with Russia.
The Ukrainian army tweeted about his website crashing saying “an excessive number of requests per second were recorded” and that he would be communicating through social media.
In a separate space declarationThe government’s Center for Strategic Communications said Privatbank and Oschadbank also suffered outages which it attributed to the “massive DDoS attack” targeting Ukrainian services.
“Private[bank] ensures that there is no threat to depositors’ funds,” the government said.
“The cyberattack only concerns the Privat24 application. The rest of the financial transactions are proceeding normally.
Ukraine is at the center of global attention following threats of a Russian invasion through military buildup on its borders.
Russia is trying to push back against what it sees as NATO’s encroachment into its sphere of influence.
Coinciding with the DDoS attacks, a spam SMS campaign informed people that local bank ATMs were malfunctioning.
Ukrainian cyberpolice issued a declaration on the text messages and said that they did not involve phishing techniques popular among scammers, but rather were “part of an information attack and did not correspond to reality”.
Ukrainian authorities did not attribute the DDoS attacks and SMS spam campaign to Russia, but linked it to a document published by the Center for Strategic Communications which directly refers to the Russian hack as an attempt “to destabilize the internal situation of the country” and to “sow chaos and despair in society”.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday morning, as Ukraine brought its Defense Ministry website back online, that it was pulling some troops from the border as it sought a diplomatic end to tensions.
“We intend and will strive to reach an agreement with our partners on the issues we have raised in order to resolve them through diplomatic channels,” Putin said.
He seeks promises that NATO would not allow Ukraine to join the alliance and demands that Western European influence move away from former Soviet states.
Putin issued an ultimatum to NATO in the form of troop movements on the border with Ukraine, threatening a full-scale ground invasion the likes of which Europe has not seen since World War II.
The Russian president met German Chancellor Olaf Scholz this week as part of efforts to find a diplomatic way through the crisis.
US President Joe Biden is not convinced that the threat of war has yet passed, saying on Wednesday that he had “not yet verified” the withdrawal of Russian soldiers.
“Our analysts indicate that they remain in a very threatening position,” Biden said.