December 3, 2023

A cyberattack hit the websites of Ukraine’s defense ministry and armed forces, and the websites of two Ukrainian banks on Tuesday, according to Ukrainian government agencies’ statements.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the hacking incident. The incident comes as Russia has amassed an estimated 150,000 troops close to Ukraine’s border.

SSSCIP identified the incident as a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, which floods a website with phony traffic to disrupt access to it. DDoS attacks are relatively cheap and easy to carry out. While they can be disruptive, they do not necessarily require sophistication.

While the website of the Oschadbank bank initially remained accessible, the customers were not able to access their online banking accounts. Ukrainian officials said that by 7:30 p.m. local time (12:30 p.m. ET) access to the websites of the banks — PrivatBank and Oschadbank — had been restored. Ukrainian government officials “continue to monitor and cut off” the Internet Protocol (IP) addresses from which the hackers are flooding Ukrainian websites with traffic

Russia routinely denies conducting cyberattacks. DDoS attacks can be difficult to trace to their source as hackers can spoof their locations to make it seem they are in a country they are not

A separate cyberattack hit Ukrainian government websites last month. Ukrainian officials suggested Russian and Belarusian involvement, but investigators have not formally blamed those countries for the cyberattack.

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