Website disruptions were attempt to sow discord and cause panic, Ukraine officials say

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Feb 16, 2022 | CYBERSCOOP

Tuesday’s disruption of multiple Ukrainian government websites and web services for several state-owned banks — along with spam text messages falsely claiming ATMs didn’t work — were part of a coordinated operation designed to sow panic, Ukrainian government officials claimed Wednesday.

The officials said it was “too early to talk about specific actors” associated with the distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, but that the targeting of multiple websites, along with the text messages, suggested an extensive effort beyond the range of an individual or even a group of hackers. The remarks, from some of Ukraine’s cybersecurity and law enforcement leaders, came at a joint briefing Wednesday that the government translated into English on Twitter.

The cyber incidents came as the threat of Russian military assault on Ukraine looms large, even as the Russians and NATO governments continue talks in search of a diplomatic resolution. President Joe Biden said Tuesday that 150,000 Russian troops remain in a “threatening position” around Ukraine, and that military escalation “remains distinctly possible.”

A spokesperson for the U.S. National Security Council told CyberScoop that the White House was aware of the DDoS situation and had “reached out

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