Ukrainian banker says almost all Ukrainian banks affected by recent massive DDoS attack

16 February 2022, 05:34 PM

Almost all of Ukraine’s banks came under a massive DDoS attack on Feb. 15, Oleg Gorokhovsky, co-founder of Monobank mobile banking app, wrote on Facebook.

He stressed that the attack had affected almost all banks, but some more badly than others.

A DDoS, or distributed denial-of-service attack, works by overloading a target server’s bandwidth capacity with irrelevant requests from multiple other machines, causing the affected service to experience delays or cease function entirely.

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For example, Ukrainians had no access to electronic banking services of the state-owned Privatbank and OschadBank in the afternoon.

“We tried Alfa and A-bank. Five minutes ago, we received massive requests from a node in the Netherlands,” Gorokhovsky wrote.

“We are monitoring the situation very carefully. If there is a powerful storm, we will be forced to temporarily turn off the ‘outside world’ and leave only Ukraine.”

Later, at about 2000 Kyiv time on Feb. 15, Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov announced that the Diia (“Action” in Ukrainian) government e-services mobile application had also been affected by the massive cyber-attack.

“Russia and China were the initial vector. Around 600,000 malicious traffic packets per second. Our specialists quickly ‘cut off’ this direction, but the cyber-attack came back from the Czech Republic and Uzbekistan. And again it was ‘reflected,’” Fedorov reported on his Telegram channel on Feb. 15.

The National Police have begun investigations of the origins and suspects behind the attack.

The Ukrainian government’s Center for Strategic Communications, or Stratcom,said in a statement on Feb. 15 that PrivatBank and Oschadbank, as well as the websites of the Ministry of Defense and the Armed Forces of Ukraine, had been under a massive DDoS attack.

“It is possible that the aggressor resorted to the tactics of petty mischief, because by and large, his aggressive plans do not work,” Stratcom’s statementreads.

In late December, U.S. newspaper The New York Times wrote that Russia was preparing cyber-attacks targeting the Ukrainian power grid and government capabilities.

On Jan. 13, about 70 websites belonging to Ukrainian government bodies and ministries came under a massive phishing attack. Fortunately, no data had been leaked or stolen from state databases.

According to Stratcom, the evidence indicates that Russia was behind the cyber-attack.

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