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Scoop of the weekend: Ukraine analyses major attack on government websites

Scoop of the weekend: Ukraine analyses major attack on government websites

Cyber security

Cyberattacks on Ukrainian government websites were carried out on 14 December after hackers gained access to administrator privileges of the company that administered the attacked websites, Digital Transformation Minister Mykhaylo Fedorov said on Facebook.

"This is a clear escalation on the cyber front, and our team will partially redeploy forces from the development of government services to help the responsible authorities in building a cyber security system," Fedorov said.

He recalled that hackers attacked 70 websites of government agencies. Ten of them were defaced, but their content was not changed and there was no leakage of personal data either, nor could there have been, as these are not registries.

Microsoft analyses cyberattack

Microsoft Corp specialists have found malware on several Ukrainian government websites and websites of government-linked organizations, Ukrinform has reported.

Also affected were websites linked to critical branches of the authorities, including the medical service. The pages of a company that develops websites for the government were also infected. Microsoft did not name the IT company in question.

The hackers were not able to take advantage of data from any Microsoft products and services during the cyberattack on Ukrainian government websites.

Who is behind

Kyiv believes a hacker group linked to Belarusian intelligence carried out a cyberattack that hit Ukrainian government websites this week and used malware similar to that used by a group tied to Russian intelligence, a senior Ukrainian security official said, according to Reuters.

Serhiy Demedyuk, deputy secretary of the national security and defence council, told Reuters that Ukraine blamed Friday's attack - which defaced government websites with threatening messages - on a group known as UNC1151 and that it was cover for more destructive actions behind the scenes.

Poroshenko's briefing

The fifth president, European Solidarity MP Petro Poroshenko has commented on charges of aiding and abetting the terrorist Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics by way of purchase of coal in 2014-15.

"Did I finance the separatists? I have one important point: we have no separatists and no conflict in the east, we have Russian aggression and Russian soldiers. Who is funding them? Mr Putin," he said during a news conference at the Ukrainian House in Warsaw, as quoted by the journalist.

Furthermore, Poroshenko said that his team did everything to provide international courts with full information on the Russian authorities' financing of the Russian militants.

He said there were no grounds to detain him upon his landing in Kyiv on 17 January.


Ahead of German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock's visit to Kyiv, Ukraine calls on Berlin to provide defence weapons, Ukrainian ambassador to Germany Andriy Melnyk told the German newspaper Die Zeit.

"We appeal to the German government, personally to Foreign Minister Baerbock to urgently help Ukraine with the necessary defence weapons. This is morally and humanly necessary," Melnyk said.

NATO status

If the USA grants Ukraine NATO+ status, the country will be able to receive the latest weapons much faster, Ukraine's ambassador to the USA, Valeriy Chalyy, said, as quoted by Radio Liberty.

"I think this is not a bad proposal. It means that before Ukraine joins NATO and joins the MAP, it will have preferential treatment in supplying weapons of fast and new quality, i.e. more efficient state-of-the-art systems. And Ukraine is suggested to be considered among the members of the so-called NATO+ group. These are Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, the Republic of Korea. In other words, these are allies of the United States that traditionally have a very large military, military and technical cooperation," Chalyy said.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has told the German daily Bild that it is Russia's actions that encourage neighbouring countries to join the North Atlantic Alliance.


A Ukrainian serviceman was wounded near Katerynivka in Donbas when the Russian occupying forces targeted it with grenade launchers and small arms on 16 January.

Donbas ecological hazard

Tanks with ammonia have been delivered to the Russia-occupied town of Horlivka, Donetsk Region, from which toxic substances are leaking into the air due to a breach of airtightness, the Defence Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate has said on Facebook.

Ammonia was delivered to Concern Stirol.

The Russian occupying administration has lost control over the chemicals that are brought to the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine. The chemical contamination may lead to an environmental disaster in the east of our state," the report reads.

The military intelligence noted that the man-made disaster caused by the actions of the Russian occupiers can be used to accuse Ukraine of using poisonous chemicals and as a pretext to expand armed aggression against Ukraine.


The head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Epifaniy, tested positive for Covid-19 on 15 January. The church press service noted that he had been fully vaccinated.


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