Global situations with respect to Ukraine are dire. But along with geopolitical issues, Ukraine is also being hit by wave upon wave of cyber-attacks. Several Ukrainian Bank and State websites, including those of the government, foreign ministry and state security services had been non-operational on Wednesday 22nd February, due to massive DDos attacks.
Ukrainian authorities had found signs of an oncoming cyber-attack. They also got online warnings that these threats would be targeted against the governmental and banking sector. Kyiv is blaming these attacks on Russia, but Moscow has denied any involvement.
“At about 4PM, another mass DDoS attack on our state began. We have relevant data from a number of banks,” says Mykhailo Fedorov, Digital Transformation Minister. In addition to banks, the parliament website was also hit. However, the minister did not disclose which of the banks were hit.
Moreover, the entire online network of Ukraine’s defence ministry and two banks were bogged down due to incessant network requests in a separate cyber-attack. A US-based cybersecurity organization jumped in to investigate the situation and has reported that there has been modest damage.
What are DDoS attacks?
A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack is a cyber threat which attempts to hit servers by making continuous spam server requests over the network which the server is a part of. Because the server is busy servicing so many requests, actual valid users cannot get the responses for their requests.
DDoS attacks become more hazardous by using several breached computer systems to launch their spam requests.
DDoS attacks are executed over the networks which such infected systems belong to. The systems are first weakened with malware to grant remote access to the hacker, and then misused to hammer the target victim server with constant requests.
These individual devices are called as bots (or zombies) since they now have no control of their own, and a group of bots is called a botnet.
Tough times ahead for Ukraine
Due to the ongoing war crisis, the attacks on the Ukrainian bank and state websites have gathered many eyeballs. Internet blockage observatory NetBlocks commented: “We’ve observed that the current network disruption has partial impact on the network layer to multiple defence and ministerial websites in Ukraine. The spread of outages is similar but distinct from the recent DDoS attack targeting defence and banking platforms, with the latter not impacted in this instance.”