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Ukraine Faces Mass Cyberattack On Financial, Defense Systems

(SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Healthcare Reporter
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Major financial institutions and government agencies in Ukraine were hit with a cyberattack Tuesday.

Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense tweeted that it was hit with a likely distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, causing its website to go down. It came back online later Tuesday evening, however the website of Ukraine’s armed forces remains down.

The Ukrainian Information Ministry announced that two state-run banks, Privat and Oschadbank, were also hit by DDoS attacks. Services for the two came back online later Tuesday as well, but not until users had reported issues with payments and viewing transactions. In an apparent reference to Russia, the Information Ministry said “it cannot be excluded that the aggressor is resorting to dirty tricks.”

A similar attack occurred in January, prompting the European Union and NATO to intervene to bolster Ukraine’s cyberdefense against potential Russian aggression, according to AFP. Russia has a history of carrying out cyberattacks against Ukraine and other neighbors; in 2017, it hit Ukraine with the NotPetya virus, causing more than $10 billion in damage, according to The Associated Press. (RELATED: Reporter Asks State Department Spokesman If Biden Admin Is Playing ‘Pretend’ In Ukraine)

When Russia invaded Georgia in 2008, it preempted the shooting war with a series of major cyberattacks. Earlier Tuesday, Russia announced it was removing some forces from the Ukrainian border as both parties continue to explore diplomatic avenues to avert a war. However, the United States continues to warn that an invasion is imminent, and Monday it moved its embassy operations out of Kyiv due to safety concerns.