WhisperGate: Russia Responsible For Cyber Attacks On Ukraine

Ukraine's State Security Agency (SBU), says that it has found convincing evidence that the recent cyber attacks on Ukrainian government websites are linked to hacking groups associated to Russian intelligence services.

According to the authoritative Zero Day website, dozens of Ukraine government computers across different agencies were wiped using a malware known as WhisperGate, which deletes or overwrites  important system files, rendering systems unable to boot up or otherwise operate. 

This malware works in stages and may lie dormant until triggered. It has the potential to spread and infect  other connected computers, resulting on permanent data destruction.

The extent to which it has spread to other computer networks operated by the Ukraine government is presently unknown.

This follows a week of fruitless meetings between US and Russian diplomats in which the White House had warned that Russia perpetrate 'false flag' operations and attack its own allies in Ukraine as a pretext to invade. 

The cyber attack has been called a preparatory move in advance of  possible military action. The cyber attack affected around 70 government websites in Ukraine overnight on Friday 14th January, making it the largest cyber attack on Ukraine since the widespread blackouts of 2016 affecting the electricity grid. The Ukraine Foreign Ministry website was hacked and temporarily displayed a message prior to the attack a message appeared warning Ukrainians to "prepare for the worst". 

Ukraine has come under intense pressure from its neighbour, with a build-up of some 100,000 Russian troops near its borders. The US and NATO have offered support to Ukraine and while Russia has made no official statement about the attack, Ukraine's Ministry of Information ministry says that Russian media reported the attacks before Ukraine did.

  • NATO said it would soon be signing an agreement with Ukraine on enhanced cyber cooperation, which would give it access to the alliance's malware information sharing platform.
  • The US government says it it will provide Ukraine with whatever support it needs to recover from the attack.

At the start of Friday's attack, a message on the hacked websites was posted in three languages, Ukrainian, Russian and Polish. "Ukrainian! All your personal data has been uploaded onto the public internet," the message read. It continued: "This is for your past, your present and your future." The Polish language message contained grammatical errors and did not appear to have been written by a native speaker, according to a statement issued by Poland's government, which also blamed Russia for the attack.

Ukraine has been repeatedly targeted since 2014, when Moscow invaded and annexed Crimea and started a war in the eastern Donbas region. About 288,000 cyber-attacks took place in the first 10 months of 2021, according to official figures, with 397,000 in 2020. 

Ukraine says that it does does not have offensive cyber weapons to attack back, but the official said it was prepared to defend against more assaults from Russia. In winter 2015 suspected Russian hackers took out parts of the country’s power grid, which led to almost a quarter of a million Ukrainians losing power and heat. A repeat attack happened in 2016.

Zero Day:    CNN:    CBS:     Reuters:      BBC:     Guardian:      Sky:      France24:     NPR:      PBS:   

You Might Also Read: 

The Emerging Domain Of  Cyber War:

 

« 'War Is Coming’ - TikTok Used To Scare Swedish Children
Employee Cyber Security Training Is Vital To Reduce Cyber Attacks »

CyberSecurity Jobsite
Perimeter 81

Directory of Suppliers

Clayden Law

Clayden Law

Clayden Law are experts in information technology, data privacy and cybersecurity law.

Jooble

Jooble

Jooble is a job search aggregator operating in 71 countries worldwide. We simplify the job search process by displaying active job ads from major job boards and career sites across the internet.

ZenGRC

ZenGRC

ZenGRC - the first, easy-to-use, enterprise-grade information security solution for compliance and risk management - offers businesses efficient control tracking, testing, and enforcement.

MIRACL

MIRACL

MIRACL provides the world’s only single step Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) which can replace passwords on 100% of mobiles, desktops or even Smart TVs.

Perimeter 81 / How to Select the Right ZTNA Solution

Perimeter 81 / How to Select the Right ZTNA Solution

Gartner insights into How to Select the Right ZTNA offering. Download this FREE report for a limited time only.

Security Compass

Security Compass

Security Compass is a software security company that provides professional services, training, and a first-of-its kind Software Security Requirements Management (SSRM) platform.

Uniscon

Uniscon

Uniscon is a leading provider of cloud security solutions in Europe.

OneWelcome

OneWelcome

Onegini and iWelcome have merged to become OneWelcome, the largest European Identity Access Management Saas Vendor.

CSIRT-NQN

CSIRT-NQN

CSIRT-NQN is the Computer Incident Response Team for the Argentine province of Neuquen.

A-LIGN

A-LIGN

A-LIGN is a global cybersecurity, compliance and privacy solutions provider.

FileWave

FileWave

FileWave offers a single solution for managing apps, devices, and more for Mac, Windows, and mobile devices.

LATRO Services

LATRO Services

LATRO Services is a complete solution provider to discover, locate, and eliminate telecom fraud.

Euro-Recycling

Euro-Recycling

Euro-Recycling is a leading UK provider of Secure On-Site Data Media Destruction Services.

New Enterprise Associates (NEA)

New Enterprise Associates (NEA)

As one of the world’s largest and most active venture capital firms, NEA has developed deep domain expertise and insight into our industries of focus - technology and healthcare.

YesWeHack

YesWeHack

YesWeHack offers companies an innovative approach to cybersecurity with Bug Bounty (pay-per-vulnerability discovered) to identify and report vulnerabilities in their systems.

Selectron Systems

Selectron Systems

Selectron offers system solutions for automation in rail vehicles and support in dealing with your railway cyber security challenges.

NetSPI

NetSPI

NetSPI is an information security penetration testing and vulnerability assessment management advisory firm.

Softcat

Softcat

Softcat offer a broad portfolio of IT services and solutions covering Hybrid Infrastructure, Cyber Security, Digital Workspace and IT Intelligence.

Netgo

Netgo

Netgo group meet the requirements of a complex, digitized world with IT consulting, IT solutions & services, managed & cloud services and software products & development.

Winmill Software

Winmill Software

Winmill is a technology services company that provides expert consulting services in Application Development, Application Security and Cyber Security.

NorthStar

NorthStar

NorthStar provide the visibility needed to track and reduce risk through risk-based vulnerability management and vulnerability exploit prediction.