Ukraine warns Russia may plant fake news about personal data leak
Ukraine’s State Service of Special Communication and Information Protection, with the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and Ukrainian cyber police, are investigating a Jan. 14 cyber-attack on websites belonging to Ukrainian government bodies and ministers, Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation wrote on its Telegram channel on Jan. 16.
Hackers vandalized multiple website belonging to Ukrainian government bodies and ministers overnight on Jan. 14, with the website of the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Diia portal (an e-government app), and others, having had their usual content replaced with a threatening message.
Ukraine’s State Service of Special Communication and Information Protection said about 70 websites belonging to Ukrainian government bodies and ministries had been affected.
“According to the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security, all evidence indicates that Russia is behind the cyber-attack. Moscow continues to wage a hybrid war and is actively building up its forces in the information space and cyberspace,” reads the statement.
The ministry claims that the cyber-attack is not only aimed at intimidating Ukrainian society, but also at destabilizing the situation in Ukraine by shutting down the public sector and undermining the confidence of Ukrainian citizens in their government.
The ministry’s statement said Russia could achieve this by spreading fake news about the vulnerability of critical information infrastructure and “leaks” of personal data of Ukrainians, and called on citizens not to panic.
“All personal data is under reliable protection in state databases,” it said.“
The announcement of the ability to buy data obtained after the Jan. 14 cyber-attack is a scam: racketeers are selling old data compiled from many sources that were leaked before 2019,” the ministry stressed.
The SBU insisted that no data had been leaked or stolen from state databases.
Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine’s Security and Defense Council, told the UK television news channel Sky News that Ukraine is “99.9%” sure Russia was behind a massive cyber-attack against Ukrainian government websites on Friday.
The SBU in turn said there are signs that hacker groups associated with the Russian special services were involved in the incident.
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