Officials said the malware attacks targeting Ukraine's government were distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, which involve disrupting traffic by overwhelming it with bots. File Photo by Ritchie B. Tongo/EPA
"We are aware of multiple commercial and government organizations in Ukraine impacted by the destructive malware," Charles Carmakalsenior, vice president of cybersecurity firm Mandiant, told CNN.
Russian armored vehicles are seen on a road in the Rostov region of Russia on Tuesday. Russian forces made incursions into Ukraine early on Thursday that coincided with multiple cyberattacks against Ukrainian government websites. Photo by Yuri Kochetkov/EPA-EFE
Last month, U.S. officials warned that Russia would likely use cyberattacks as part of its actions in Ukraine. President Joe Biden indicated that the United States would respond with cyber operations of its own.
The attacks affected websites belonging to Ukraine's ministries of defense, interior, foreign affairs, infrastructure and education. Attacks on Wednesday targeted websites of Ukrainian parliament, security service, and cabinet of ministers.
Officials said the attacks were distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, which involve disrupting traffic by overwhelming it with bots.
It's believed that the data-wiping hack Thursday was caused by a "wiper" malware and could be more devastating to Kyiv's cyber infrastructure. The malware deletes data from computers and renders them inoperable.
The hack, which hit at least one Ukrainian financial institution and two government contractors, was created two months ago, according to threat analyst Jean-Ian Boutin. Officials are concerned that the hack could disrupt transportation and media networks in Ukraine.