Ukraine becomes the target of a cyber attack, a tactic it had expected before Russia’s “complete invasion”

Washington – Ukraine’s government servers were targeted overnight in a “massive cyber attack” that saw the removal of official websites, including the Foreign Ministry’s homepage, which contained a temporary warning message. UkrainePeople “fear and expect the worst.”

Hours before the latest digital sabotage, Ukraine’s ambassador to Washington told CBS News that his country believed the cyber attack would precede any major attack. Military action by Vladimir Putin’s forces.

No one has claimed responsibility for the cyber-attack, but Ukraine has blamed groups linked to the Russian government for similar sabotage.

“As a result of the massive cyber attack, the websites of the State Department and several other government agencies have been temporarily shut down,” the State Department said overnight. Earlier, the ministry’s website posted a message in Ukrainian, Russian and Polish, saying: “Ukraine! All your personal data … has been deleted and it is impossible to restore it. All the information about has become commonplace, fear and expect the worst. ”

Ukrainian and US officials told CBS News on Thursday that a possible military strike against Ukraine would not necessarily begin in the coming weeks across the frozen border with Russian tanks. Alternative methods of attack, including air strikes as well as a phased provocation that could start from neighboring Belarus or Russia’s other friendly region in the region, were among the expected possibilities – along with a previous cyber attack. ۔

Putin’s preference for hybrid warfare also weighs heavily on the minds of Ukrainian officials.

Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States, Oksana Markarova, told CBS News on Thursday that “if Russia decides to launch a full-scale attack, we know we should expect an increase in cyber-attacks before then.”

US-Russia talks on Ukraine


Russian cyber-attacks have been almost permanent for years and cover a range of vulnerable attacks on infrastructure, ranging from disabling the electric grid to Russia’s active disinformation campaign aimed at Ukraine. The people have to go against their government. The ensuing confusion and division could be conducive to Russian interests.

Presumably, Russian President Vladimir Putin may try to use such tactics to predict a military strike.

President Biden’s national security adviser, Jack Sullivan, pointed to US intelligence about Russian sabotage during a briefing at the White House on Thursday.

“Our intelligence community has produced information that has now been reduced, with Russia accusing Ukraine of preparing for an impending attack on Russia, including through sabotage activities and intelligence operations. The groundwork is laid for the option of making an excuse to attack. Forces in eastern Ukraine, “Sullivan told reporters.

Asked by CBS News about Sullivan’s comments, the NSC spokesman declined to comment.

The United States has sent cyber teams to Ukraine in recent weeks to help advise the country’s own security services, several sources confirmed to CBS News.

Cybersecurity expert Dmitry Alprovich said he doubted the cyber-attack would be the basic method used in any Russian attack, but would be used to “prepare for the battlefield.” “I expect dynamics to be preferred to offensive operations, but cyber-attacks will be used for intelligence purposes,” Alprovich told CBS.

The Pentagon declined to comment on the assistance provided to Ukraine. A Pentagon spokesman said in a statement emailed to CBS News: “We have long supported Ukraine’s efforts to enhance cyber defense and its cyber flexibility, but at the moment we have There is nothing more to offer. “

Ukrainian troops ready for possible Russian attack …


Tensions between Russia and the West are high, with 100,000 Russian troops stationed along Ukraine’s eastern border, and US officials have warned that Putin could order another attack on the neighboring country this month or in February. Fighting has been raging in eastern Ukraine between Russian forces and Russian-backed separatists since 2014, when Russia invaded and occupied the Crimean peninsula.

Moscow has sent mixed signals, insisting there are no plans to strike again, but has shown no inclination to reduce its military presence on the border, warning that if the United States and Military action could be taken at any time if its NATO allies refuse to provide a “security guarantee”. The most important of Moscow’s demands is to block Ukraine’s bid for NATO membership. The United States has rejected the demand as “non-starter.”

The Biden administration has also made it clear that its preferred course of diplomacy cannot move forward unless there is a reduction in tensions, Russia sending its troops back to its barracks and its military movements. Don’t be transparent about.

The risk of a full-scale military strike is still high, according to US and Ukrainian officials. If Putin launches a full-scale offensive using tanks in the frozen winter months of January and February, his forces will face the Ukrainian army, which is equipped with Javelin missiles and other US-supplied weapons. At the same time, Ukraine will face a long war frontier. Size But, from Ukraine’s point of view, there is no threat of military intervention, nor is Russia’s attempt to destabilize the country by other means likely to end with the melting of the spring.

Russia talks “significant differences”


US diplomats, led by State Department spokeswoman Wendy Sherman, have been leading talks to try to persuade Putin to change his account. So far, efforts have not persuaded Russia to back down. On Thursday, Putin’s government called the talks a “failure” and on Friday Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov doubled the Kremlin’s “red line” on Ukraine’s NATO membership.

Lavrov said that if security talks with the West failed, Russia’s response could include the deployment of military hardware. On Thursday, his deputy said Russia would not “reject” the deployment of military hardware in Cuba or Venezuela.

“So far we have not seen Russian military units retreating near the border or halting exercises,” Ukrainian Ambassador Markarova told CBS News. “So Putin is still using it as a threat and using the West as a tool to talk to him.”

The diplomat added that he was ready to strike again if he believed there was a window of opportunity.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky visited the Donetsk region.
On June 9, 2021, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky visited the positions of the country’s armed forces near the line of separation with Russian-backed rebels in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine.

Ukrainian Presidential Press Service / Handout

Ukraine is urging the United States and NATO to exert greater political pressure, including imposing more economic sanctions on Russia, and strengthening Ukraine’s defense capabilities.

Earlier this week, the US government’s cybersecurity agency CISA Issued a public warning Developing critical US infrastructure for the possible consequences of any large-scale Russian cyber attack.

As CBS News’ Nicole Sanga reports, this is being done in an effort to avoid the effects of globalization, as happened after 2017. Notpetya attackWhich had global effects.