February 15, 2022
Major financial institutions and government agencies in Ukraine were hit with a cyberattack Tuesday.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense tweeted that it was hit with a likely distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, causing its website to go down. It came back online later Tuesday evening, however the website of Ukraine’s armed forces remains down.
❗️Сайт МОУ зазнав, ймовірно, DDoS-атаки: фіксувалася надмірна кількість звернень на секунду.
Проводяться техроботи з відновлення штатного функціонування.
Комунікація через сторінки в FB та Twitter, сайти АрміяInform https://t.co/ukMW41irPW та Армія FM https://t.co/IpDnBXoMXw.
— Defence of Ukraine (@DefenceU) February 15, 2022
The Ukrainian Information Ministry announced that two state-run banks, Privat and Oschadbank, were also hit by DDoS attacks. Services for the two came back online later Tuesday as well, but not until users had reported issues with payments and viewing transactions. In an apparent reference to Russia, the Information Ministry said “it cannot be excluded that the aggressor is resorting to dirty tricks.”
A similar attack occurred in January, prompting the European Union and NATO to intervene to bolster Ukraine’s cyberdefense against potential Russian aggression, according to AFP. Russia has a history of carrying out cyberattacks against Ukraine and other neighbors; in 2017, it hit Ukraine with the NotPetya virus, causing more than $10 billion in damage, according to The Associated Press.
Ukrainian media reports that there are issues with some Ukrainian banks (Privat and Oschad) – apps don’t work, people can’t pay with their cards, etc.
At the same time, it seems impossible to open the website of Ukraine’s Defence Ministry.
— Anastasiia Lapatina (@lapatina_) February 15, 2022
When Russia invaded Georgia in 2008, it preempted the shooting war with a series of major cyberattacks. Earlier Tuesday, Russia announced it was removing some forces from the Ukrainian border as both parties continue to explore diplomatic avenues to avert a war. However, the United States continues to warn that an invasion is imminent, and Monday it moved its embassy operations out of Kyiv due to safety concerns.