Ukraine battered by internet outages and cyber attacks 'unambiguously' connected with Russia after – iNews

Ukraine has been hit by significant internet outages after a series of cyber attacks on its Government, banks and public authority websites in what the country has called “another act of cyber-aggression against Ukraine”.
Internet access in Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city around 25 miles from the Russian border, was disrupted shortly after loud explosions were heard in the early hours of Thursday as Russia announced its military mobilisation.
Citizens reported disruption to their fixed-line service, while mobile connectivity remained uninterrupted, according to internet monitor Netblocks, which also observed an interruption to internet connectivity in the city of Donetsk following reports of increased military activity on Wednesday evening.
Internet providers serving eastern Ukraine via Crimea and Russia experienced connectivity difficulties over the weekend, with provider Lugacom warning customers of potential disruption to its mobile service in the region.
The State Service of Special Communication and Information Protection of Ukraine confirmed that websites belonging to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Security Service of Ukraine were among those targeted by cyber attacks on Wednesday.
While DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks – which overwhelm services, servers or networks with an influx of traffic – have been targeting the country continuously since 15 February, they intensified on Wednesday, it said.
“At the same time, phishing attacks on public authorities and critical infrastructure, the spread of malicious software, as well as attempts to penetrate private and public sector networks and further destructive actions have intensified,” it said.
“Today’s cyberattacks no longer even require detailed technical attribution. Attackers, without much hiding, use bot networks for phishing and DDoS attacks, which our special services unambiguously identify as connected with the secret services of the aggressor country.”
The Ukrainian government urged organisations to isolate all workstations and servers that aren’t critical to their operation, to update systems and software to patch software vulnerabilities and to immediately back up important information to external storage to avoid further disruption.
The websites of Oschadbank, Ukraine’s state savings bank, and PrivatBank, the country’s largest commercial bank, were also knocked offline on Wednesday.
Kyivstar, Ukraine’s largest mobile network, said its network was currently struggling to cope with the volume of use as many Ukrainians flee their homes, cautioning that customers may experience difficulty connecting calls.
“Our team is doing everything possible to ensure that our network continues to operate normally,” it tweeted.
“The network is currently under heavy load. Because of this, calls may not be made for the first time. Keep calm! We are with you!”
Vodafone, which operates in Ukraine, said that rumours of possible disconnections from mobile communications and the internet were untrue, clarifying that mobile operators and providers would continue to provide services under their emergency management modes.
“Please note that there may be communication interruptions. This is primarily due to the fact that the networks are congested,” it tweeted,
“Please make phone calls and exchange messages if necessary. If you cannot make a call, exchange SMS messages.”
All rights reserved. © 2021 Associated Newspapers Limited.


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