‘Massive’ cyber-attack shuts down Ukrainian govt websites

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Kiev, Jan 14 (IANS) State-sponsored hackers have hit Ukraine with a ‘massive cyber-attack, shutting down several government websites amid heightened tension with Russia.

Sky News reported on Friday that the disruption came at a time of extreme tension with Russia, which has reportedly gathered around 100,000 troops at Ukraine’s border.

“As a result of a massive cyber-attack, the websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a number of other government agencies are temporarily down,” said the Foreign Ministry in Kiev.

“It’s too early to draw conclusions, but there is a long record of Russian assaults against Ukraine,” a spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry was quoted as saying.

Websites of the Foreign Ministry, National Security and Defence Council and the government’s Cabinet of ministers were among those affected.

On some of the websites, a text in three languages – Ukrainian, Polish and Russian – said all data of Ukrainians uploaded to the network have become public.

Russia has repeatedly been accused of cyber-attacks against Ukraine.

The targeting of Ukrainian government websites came as talks between representatives of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and Russia concluded without a clear outcome, with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg describing the differences between the two sides as “significant” and “will not be easy to bridge”.

Alexander Lukashevich, Russia’s permanent representative to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), said after the talks that Moscow was disappointed by the West’s response to its proposals on Ukraine and European security.

Stoltenberg has also warned Russia that a further military aggression against Ukraine would carry a “high political and economic price”.

–IANS

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