Live News: Ukrainian government reports new cyberattacks

Kiev has announced a new series of cyberattacks against government websites and banks, raising fears that Russia could launch an online offensive just hours after announcing it would partially withdraw some 130,000 troops along Ukraine’s borders.

Ukraine’s government said in a statement on Tuesday that two state-owned banks, PrivatBank and Oschadbank, had been the target of “massive” denial-of-service attacks and other failures that disrupted banking services.

“The websites of the Defense Ministry and the Ukrainian Armed Forces were also attacked,” the government’s Strategic Communications Center said. Although he didn’t specifically name Russia, he added: “The aggressor used tactics of small and large misdeeds.”

At the White House, a spokesperson for the National Security Council said the United States was “aware of the reports of denial of service incidents” and had contacted its Ukrainian counterparts to “offer support in the investigation. and the answer”.

However, the NSC said it had “no further information to share at this time” and did not comment on the possible source of the attack.

Ukrainian officials have consistently branded Russia an “aggressor” since Moscow occupied the Crimean peninsula in 2014 and fomented a separatist proxy war in the eastern Donbass region that has claimed more than 14,000 lives.

A similar cyberattack last month targeted government websites. Ukrainian officials have warned that any military invasion by Russia could be preceded by cyberattacks, disinformation campaigns and other provocations designed to destabilize and weaken the country.

According to national news and social media, customers of the two state banks complained on Tuesday of difficulties in carrying out banking transactions.

Some bank customers reportedly received spam messages on their cellphones alleging that the country’s lenders were not giving customers access to cash and electronic payment services, a development that could trigger a run on deposits.

Ukraine’s cyberpolice said in a statement that they are investigating the incidents as “an element of information warfare”.

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