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Hackers attack Ukrainian government websites

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry in Kyiv, Ukraine Associated Press/Photo by Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Press Service

Hackers attack Ukrainian government websites

Viewers of dozens of Ukrainian government websites saw the phrase “Be afraid and expect the worst” pop up on their screens in Ukrainian, Polish, and Russian on Friday. Hackers targeted and temporarily disabled roughly 70 national and regional government sites, posting a message claiming that personal data was being accessed and destroyed. Ukraine’s information security agency said the websites were defaced but the hackers did not affect critical infrastructure or steal personal data. Government officials said most of the websites were restored by Friday evening.

Who was behind the hack? A Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman said it was too early to identify the attackers but noted “there is a long record of Russian cyber assaults against Ukraine.” A preliminary investigation by Ukraine’s Security Service suggested the hackers were linked to Russian intelligence services. Experts said cyberattacks from Russia could be part of a plan to destabilize Ukraine and other ex-Soviet countries that want to join NATO. 

Dig Deeper: Read Esther Eaton’s report in The Stew about the United States’ response to the regional tensions.

Mary Muncy

Mary Muncy is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. She graduated from World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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