On the sidelines of the bombings, Ukraine victim of cyberattacks

Large-scale computer attacks targeting Ukrainian strategic infrastructure have been targeted for several hours. Russian operators are accused.

Ukraine is “constantly” the victim of cyberattacks, the country’s computer security agency said on Wednesday evening, accusing Russian operators. On Wednesday, a new cyberattack targeted several official Ukrainian sites made inaccessible.

The origin of this DDos attack (by denial of service) is to be attributed to Russian operators, who “don’t even try” to hide their identity, the agency said. Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fyodorov said earlier that the attack began in the late afternoon, disrupting the operation of the websites of several banks and ministries in the country. The home pages of the sites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and that of the Cabinet of Ministers were thus inaccessible, noted AFP journalists. The sites concerned succeeded in “redirecting the traffic to another access provider to minimize the damage”, however assured Mr. Fiodorov.

On video: the first images

But according to “Le Monde”, these attacks are however “only the tip of an iceberg of threats”. Because on the night of Wednesday to Thursday, two “more subtle and potentially more destructive” operations were detected by computer security companies. The company ESET has indeed announced that it has discovered the presence of a new malware type wiper, designed to erase the contents of hard drives, on “several hundred machines” in Ukraine. The company did not wish to detail precisely what the targets of the software were, but explains that it would be “large organizations”.

Harbinger of a military offensive

In January, Ukraine was already targeted by a major cyberattack against a number of government sites. The authorities then claimed to have evidence of Russian involvement, accusations denied by Moscow. A major computer attack targeting strategic Ukrainian infrastructure is one of the scenarios mentioned as the harbinger of a classic military offensive.

The renewed intensity of violence on the eastern front of Ukraine, the scene for eight years of a war with separatists supported by Russia, makes the West fear an imminent Russian invasion.

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