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Microsoft reveals details of a cyber attack on Ukrainian government networks

Microsoft reveals details of a cyber attack on Ukrainian government networks

Microsoft said late Saturday that dozens of computer systems at an unspecified number of Ukrainian government agencies have been infected with destructive malware disguised as ransomware.

Ransomware is malicious software that restricts access to the computer system it infects and requires a ransom to be paid so that the owner of the computer can access the files. It was not immediately clear how much damage these malware caused.

Microsoft said in a short blog post that it first detected the malware on Thursday, coinciding with the attack that temporarily shut down nearly 70 government websites.

In another technical post, Microsoft stated that the affected systems “cover many government, non-profit, and IT organizations.”

“The malware is disguised as ransomware, but if activated by the attacker, it will render the infected computer system inoperable… In short, it will lack a ransomware recovery mechanism.”

The attack comes at a time when tensions over Ukraine are rising amid Western accusations about the proximity of “Russia’s brother” to that country, accusations that Moscow categorically denies.

Earlier, Ukraine claimed that it had “initial indications confirming the involvement of Russian intelligence services in a large-scale cyberattack against several of its ministries.”

For his part, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, in an interview with CNN, denied that Russia had any connection to the cyberattacks targeting Ukrainian government sites, calling the accusations against Moscow in this regard “unfounded.”

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