Ukraine’s government websites have been targeted by cyberattacks as a result of Russia’s military campaign.

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Image curtesy: BBC news

According to its authorities, more cyber-attacks have struck Ukraine, which is “on a fundamentally another level.” Several Ukrainian banks’ and government organizations’ websites were offline earlier on Wednesday. At the same time, a new “wiper” assault was uncovered, being employed against Ukrainian enterprises, which wipe data on compromised PCs. The onslaught is the most sophisticated to date and the third wave of strikes against Ukraine this year. The current assault started on Wednesday afternoon, when NetBlocks, an internet connection business, tweeted about the disruptions, stating that the situation seemed to be similar to other DDoS attacks. DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks aim to take down a website by flooding it with many requests until it fails.

‘Outages are continuing,’ Ukraine’s Digital Transformation Minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, stated on Telegram. “Another huge DDoS assault on our country [has] begun.” According to NetBlocks statistics, the wave of DDoS assaults on Ukraine started on Wednesday afternoon and grew in intensity throughout the day. However, “Ukraine’s military and financial websites have witnessed a faster recovery, possibly owing to readiness and greater ability to execute mitigations,” a researcher told Media. Wiper with a high level of sophistication Cyber-security specialists at ESET and Symantec claimed on Wednesday night that they had found a second kind of assault on computer systems, including sophisticated “wiper” malware. “ESET experts have revealed the discovery of HermeticWiper, a new data wiper malware used in Ukraine,” a spokeswoman stated. “According to ESET telemetry, the virus has been installed on hundreds of PCs throughout the nation.” According to the researchers, the malicious software had a creation date of 28 December 2021, meaning that the assault had been planned since then.

DDoS assaults are on the rise. A similar assault brought down a lesser number of websites in the nation last week. And cyber officials in the United Kingdom and the United States quickly blamed the strike on Russian hackers acting on instructions from the Kremlin. However, Moscow has denied any involvement, and no formal responsibility has been placed on Russia for the recent strikes. In January, the Ukrainian government accused Russia of being behind yet another DDoS assault and a less severe wave of “wiper” strikes. As a result, some of the impacted websites have been replaced with a warning to Ukrainians to “be ready for the worst.” However, the majority of the sites were accessible again within hours. Following a request for assistance from Ukraine, the EU announced a cyber-rapid-response team (CRRT) deployment throughout Europe on Tuesday. However, it’s unclear if the unit of specialists from six volunteer nations assists in defense of this current onslaught. In addition, DDoS assaults have been utilized in a wide range of various advertising campaigns as part of Russia’s “hybrid warfare” tactics, which combine cyber-attacks with regular military operations.

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