September 22, 2023

A Ukrainian internet service provider used by the country’s military suffered a massive cyberattack on Monday, Ukrainian officials said, fueling fears that Russia intends to wield more dangerous digital weapons as the war drags into its second month.


The attack on Ukrtelecom PJSC was described as among the most harmful cyberattack since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Ukrainian officials said that they had repelled the attack, and that the company could restore services, according to a statement from Ukraine’s State Service of Special Communication and Information Protection, which is responsible for cybersecurity in the country.

The Ukrainian cyber agency’s statement didn’t say who was responsible for the cyberattack. Security experts have said Russian-linked hackers have launched a variety of cyberattacks against financial services companies, internet service providers and government agencies since this February, in the run-up to the Feb. 24 invasion and after.

Ukrtelecom says it is the largest provider of landline telephone service in Ukraine. It is the seventh-largest internet service provider in the country. Ukrtelecom’s ability to connect to the internet to provide services to customers began dropping about 5 a.m. ET and gradually fell off throughout the day.

Ukrtelecom didn’t return messages seeking comment, but the company acknowledged service outages in a post Monday to its Facebook page, and said it was working to restore stable service as soon as possible.


The disruption was confirmed by multiple groups that monitor internet traffic. Netblocks, an internet observatory that has tracked previous outages in Ukraine, said on Twitter that network data showed “an ongoing and intensifying nation-scale disruption to service, which is the most severe registered since the invasion by Russia.”

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