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Ukrainian Government Websites Defaced in Massive Cyberattack

Vlad CONSTANTINESCU

January 14, 2022

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Ukrainian Government Websites Defaced in Massive Cyberattack

Last night, hackers took down and defaced several Ukrainian government websites after diplomatic talks between Ukrainian, Russian and US officials reached a dead end on Thursday.

The attack affected websites of the State Treasury, State Emergency Service, Cabinet of Ministers, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Sports, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Education and Science, and others.

Perpetrators wiped the websites and replaced the content with a statement written in Russian, Ukrainian and Polish. Authorities removed the statement from the websites, but you can check an archived copy of it, and a rough translation of the message below.

“Ukrainian! All your personal information has been uploaded to a shared network. All data on the computer is destroyed. It is impossible to restore them. All the information about you has become public, be afraid and expect the worst. This is for your past, present, and future. For Volyn, for the OUN UPA, for Galicia, for Poland, and for historical lands.”

Authorities believe the attackers wrote the statement in three languages to hide their identities and shift the blame towards other potential suspects.

Ukrainian officials confirmed the attack through Facebook and Twitter posts and immediately took down all the impacted websites to restore them. While some websites have been restored, others are under maintenance.

Reportedly, sources in the Ukrainian government said that the attackers exploited an October CMS vulnerability (tracked as CVE-2021-32648) that affected all targeted websites, according to cybersecurity journalist Kim Zetter. However, officials are yet to confirm and elaborate on the technical details of the attack.

Authorities advise Ukrainian citizens to confirm all appointments with Ukrainian government departments through Jan. 14 and expect them to be delayed, or even canceled.

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