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Ukraine has been hit by a massive cyber attack targeting government websites

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Dozens of Ukrainian government websites have been hit by an ominous cyber attack, with hackers warning people to “be afraid and expect the worst.”

The attack targeted the websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Cabinet of Ministers and the Security and Defense Council, posting a message in Ukrainian, Russian and Polish that read: “Ukrainian! All your personal information has been uploaded to “All the data on the computer has been destroyed, it is impossible to restore it.”

“All the information about you has been made public, be afraid and expect the worst. This is about your past, present and future,” the hackers said.

“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 a Foreign Ministry spokesman. Tweet. “Our specialists have already started restoring the work of IT systems and the cyber police has opened an investigation.”

Officials in Kiev have not said who is behind the violation, but in the past, Russian hackers have been blamed for similar attacks in Ukraine. It is worth noting that similar cyber tactics were used against Georgian government websites in 2008 during a brief conflict between Moscow and Tbilisi over South Ossetia. And in 2015, The sand worm, a group of Russian hackers, hit the Ukrainian electricity grid.

The attacks come at a time of heightened tensions with Moscow, as some 100,000 Russian troops backed by tanks and artillery have gathered on the border with Ukraine in what some observers fear is a prelude to the invasion. The Kremlin has denied any plans to invade Ukraine.

European Union chief diplomat Josep Borrell condemned the cyber attack and offered to mobilize resources to help restore computer systems. “I can not blame anyone as I have no evidence, but we can imagine it,” Borrell said in a notable allusion to Russia.

In 2020, US Department of Justice charged six hackers believed to be officers in Russia’s military intelligence branch in connection with computer interventions against Ukraine and Georgia.

In recent weeks, Russia has long demanded that Ukraine, a former Soviet republic that gained independence after the collapse of the USSR at the end of the Cold War, be never allowed to join NATO. The Kremlin has made a similar request regarding Georgia.

Russian envoys and European and NATO leaders appear to have made little progress this week towards resolving disputes during talks in Vienna and Brussels.

On Thursday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told NPR All things considered that the US is fully prepared for a Russian invasion of Ukraine and is ready to do “things we have not done in the past” if necessary.

Speaking about Russian President Vladimir Putin, Blinken said that “it may happen that he has not fully decided what to do.”

“We have, I think, an important responsibility to help shape his thinking and again make it very clear from our point of view what the options are, what the consequences of the options he may be pursuing will be,” he said. Blinken.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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