Russian cyberattack shuts down Ukrainian banks and defense agencies’ websites

A recent report indicates that the websites of Ukraine’s military and at least two major banks were taken offline as a result of a massive cyberattack. Through its Twitter account, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry confirmed the incident, mentioning that IT teams are working to resolve the incident, apparently caused by a denial of service (DoS) attack.

So far, the digital platforms of the Ukrainian armed forces still do not operate properly.

Regarding the financial institutions attacked, it has been reported that they are PrivatBank, the largest commercial bank in Ukraine, and Oschadbank, incidents that caused the widespread interruption of services, including ATM networks. While Oschadbank has already partially restored its systems, PrivatBank continues to work to return to operation.

While the organization only mentioned the DoS attack, when visiting the PrivatBank website a puzzling message appears, which could indicate that the website was taken offline for a completely different reason.

Cybersecurity specialists mention that this attack variant is always alarming for system administrators, since multiple groups of threat actors often resort to DoS attacks as a distraction to deploy subsequent hacking tasks.

Similar incidents previously detected in Ukraine have been attributed to the Russian government, in collaboration with allies such as Belarus. This explanation sounds coherent considering the recent military exercises ordered by Russia on the borders with Ukraine, which has escalated tension internationally. So far the real origin of these attacks has not been confirmed, although any possible explanation has not been ruled out.

To learn more about information security risks, malware variants, vulnerabilities and information technologies, feel free to access the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) websites.