Ukrainian government hit by a cyberattack

Friday morning, Ukrainian government websites were hit by a major cyberattack.

"All your data has been uploaded to the web. All data on the computer is destroyed and cannot be recovered. All information about you has become public. Fear and prepare for the worst. This is for your past, present, and future," reads a message on the Ukrainian foreign ministry website.

Malicious hackers posted a warning in Ukrainian, Russian, and Polish. The attack was first spotted by a freelance correspondent in Kyiv, Olga Tokariuk.

The government websites are down and cannot be reached at the moment. It seems that most of the websites belonging to different ministries are down, with some exceptions. For example, the website of the Ukrainian finance ministry appears to be working at the time of this publication.

According to Tokariuk, the websites of the foreign ministry, education ministry, ministry of agriculture, energy, and sports ministries have been hit, as well as that of the state emergency service. Diia portal, which stores the personal data of millions of Ukrainians, and the website of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine were also down for some time.

Commenting on the cyberattack, a top Ukrainian security official told Reuters: "All subjects of cybersecurity were aware of such possible provocations by the Russian Federation. Therefore the response to these incidents is carried out as usual."

According to Reuters, since 2014, hackers have knocked out Ukraine's power supplies, frozen supermarket tills, affected radiation monitoring at the stricken Chernobyl nuclear power plant, and forced the authorities to prop up the hryvnia currency after banks' IT systems crashed. According to a report released by the US State Department in August, reports of online scams and attacks against Ukraine's government ministries and information portals can run into the thousands every month.

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