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Massive cyberattack on Ukraine govt sites amid Russia tensions: What you need to know

Picture courtesy: Hindustan times

Ukraine has been hit by a “massive” cyber-attack, with the websites of several government departments including the ministry of foreign affairs and the education ministry knocked out.

Authorities have are yet to identify or reveal who might be behind the attack, which hit government websites.

All those sites were down, some with their content replaced for a time by messages in Russian, Polish and Ukrainian.

“Ukrainian! All your personal data has been uploaded to the public network,” the message said. “All data on your computer is being erased and won’t be recoverable. All information about you has become public, fear and expect the worst. This is being done to you for the your past, present and future,” it said, with a reference to “historic lands.”

Officials said it was too early to draw any conclusions but they pointed to a “long record” of Russian cyber assaults against Ukraine, with the attack coming after security talks between Moscow and the US and its allies this week ended in stalemate.

A Kremlin spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the cyber attack.

The U.S. and its allies have warned that Russia might use hacking or other actions short of a military operation to put pressure on Ukraine. Russia denies it uses cyber weapons offensively but President Vladimir Putin has said what he called “patriotic hackers” may take it upon themselves to stand up for the country’s interests online.

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