Several Ukrainian government websites have been attacked by hackers. The websites contain a threat to the Ukrainian population and threaten to disclose personal information. The latter contradicts the government of the country.

The attack took place on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education, among others. The website briefly showed a message saying: “Ukrainians, all information about you has gone public. Be afraid and prepare for worse. It is about your past, present and future.” The text was published in Ukrainian, as well as in Russian and Polish. In addition to the text, there are also images of, among other things, the country of Ukraine and the Ukrainian flag, with stripes through it. The affected websites have been temporarily taken offline. According to investigative journalist Kim Zetter, all sites run on the October CMS and were hacked via a vulnerability in that software that had been known since September last year.

It has not yet been confirmed who is behind the attacks, but Ukrainian authorities are citing Russia as a possible perpetrator. “It is too early to draw conclusions, but there is a long history of Russian cyber attacks against Ukraine,” a foreign ministry spokesman told Reuters. Russia has stationed 100,000 soldiers on the country’s border, and western countries fear the country may want to invade Ukraine. In the past, Russian state hackers have already attacked the country’s electricity network. The destructive NotPetya ransomware is also attributed to Russia. It was specifically aimed at Ukrainian targets.

The message talks about the leakage of personal data. No details are given about this. Government spokesmen tell Reuters no personal data was stolen in the attack. Meanwhile, some websites are said to have been restored, but others are still offline to prevent further spread of the message. The Kremlin has denied any involvement to Reuters and said the allegations were “baseless”.

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