Posted on February 17, 2022 at 5:26 PM
The Ukraine government has revealed that the recent DDoS attack that affected some of the government websites is the largest in its history.
The attack was launched against financial institutions and military agencies in Ukraine, and the government is suspecting Russia to be behind the attack.
However, the attack was successfully stopped before it can cause severe damage, according to the State Service of Special Communication and Information Protection.
The affected targets include the websites of the Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defense, as well as the web services of Oschadbank and PrivatBank.
DDoS attacks generally overwhelm networks or websites with traffic. It is used to destroy the flow of the network, causing the website to crash and plant panic among users. In the case of attacks on government websites, the main goal is to discredit the website and plant fear among the citizens. Russia and Ukraine have been in a serious faceoff over the past few years, but the tension has risen in recent weeks.
According to the Ukrainian government, the attack was on a large scale but its security team was able to stand against the onslaught. The attack was meant to plant fear among Ukrainians but the government was able to control the situation on time, the statement reads.
The attack on Russian websites came when Russia is mobilizing about 150,000 troupes near the Ukraine border, according to reports. But in another news, Russia stated that it was pulling back its troupes near Ukraine’s border.
NATO’s secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg, said there is no indication that the Russian military is withdrawing its troupes. “We do not see any sign of de-escalation on the ground,” Stoltenberg said.
Russia’s Involvement In The Attack
This will not be the first time Russia has been accused or linked to the use of cyberattacks as part of a military campaign. The country was connected to a similar attack in the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine. And in January, Ukraine also accused Russia of cyberattacks that left dozens of the government’s websites defaced or inaccessible.
Some cybersecurity experts have also noted that Russia is likely going to use cyberattacks as its strategy when it wants to invade Ukraine, just as it has done in previous military campaigns in the past 15 years.
The Head of the cybersecurity department for the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU), Ilya Vityuk, stated that there is a trace of foreign intelligence on the recent DDoS attack on Ukraine websites.
Vityuk said only Russia is interested in such image damage to Ukraine, based on current realities. However, he admitted that the investigation has not revealed the true identity of those responsible for the attack, even though everyone is pointing in Russia’s direction.
In another statement by the SSU, the association is convinced that Russia is responsible for the attack, following the widely publicized dispute between both countries. The statement noted that preliminary information shows that Russian special services could be involved in the attack.
Russia Denies Involvement
While everyone is accusing Russia of the cyber invasion, a spokesperson for the Krelim government denied all allegations. The spokesperson said Russia knows nothing about the attack and is surprised that Ukraine has continued to blame Russia. The response is usual for the Russian government or other state actors to deny any possible cyber attack link to them because of the overall political and international consequences.
The attack was massive
A report from cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike noted that the DDoS attack was very potent based on its findings.
The telemetry acquired during the attack shows that the attack contained a very large volume of traffic, which is three times more than regularly observed traffic. The security firm noted that 99% of the entire traffic consisted of HTTPS requests
Although there is no evidence that the attackers targeted any western entity, there is potential for collateral impact following the disruptive attacks on Ukrainian entities and websites.
Some foreign-based companies that operate in Ukraine could be impacted. Also, those that share software or have supply chain components with Ukrainian companies could be affected by the attack. As a result, U.S. President Joe Biden has warned that any direct or indirect cyber attack on a U.S company will draw a fierce response from the U.S. government. He stated that the country is prepared to respond in such a situation.