NATO will soon sign an agreement with Ukraine to improve cyber cooperation between the two parties, after number of websites run by various Ukrainian government departments including the education ministry and the ministry of foreign affairs were knocked out on Friday.
“In the coming days, NATO and Ukraine will sign an agreement on enhanced cyber cooperation, including Ukrainian access to NATO’s malware information sharing platform. NATO’s strong political and practical support for Ukraine will continue,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement.
He added that NATO cyber experts in Brussels had been exchanging information with their Ukrainian counterparts on the current malicious cyber activities. Allied experts in country are also supporting the Ukrainian authorities on the ground.
While officials said it was too early to draw any conclusions, they pointed at Russia’s ‘long record’ of cyber assault against the country. The attack left the websites inaccessible on Friday morning.
On some of the targeted websites, the suspected Russian hackers left a message in Ukrainian, Russian and Polish that read “Ukrainians! … All information about you has become public. Be afraid and expect worse. It’s your past, present and future.”
On the foreign ministry website, the message reproduced the Ukrainian flag and map crossed out. It mentioned the Ukrainian insurgent army (UPA), which fought against the Soviet Union during World War 2.
The Ukrainian government said it restored most of the affected sites and asserted that no personal data had been stolen, as claimed by the hackers. A number of other websites were suspended to prevent the attack from spreading.