Ukraine Cyberattack 2022 — Tensions Continue to Mount With Russia

Ukraine’s defense ministry and banks fell victim to a cyberattack. Here’s what we know about the ongoing ordeal. How is the cyberattack related to the tensions with Russia?

Rachel Curry - Author

Feb. 16 2022, Published 1:01 p.m. ET

As Russia continues to make threats about invading Ukraine, the Ukraine defense ministry and banks are dealing with an ongoing cyberattack.

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Here’s what we know about the 2022 Ukraine cyberattack and what’s next for the nation as invasion concerns loom.

Ukraine is dealt another blow with the cyberattack.

By February 16, 2022, U.S. troops departed Fort Campbell, Ky., to help NATO allies and forces in Poland. The move comes two days after Ukraine fell victim to a cyberattack that knocked its defense ministry and banks offline.

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Ukraine’s defense ministry and two banks were at the core of the cyberattack.

The Ukrainian Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security responded to the cyberattack and said, “It is not ruled out that the aggressor used tactics of little dirty tricks because its aggressive plans are not working out on a large scale.”

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Reports suggest that Russia might invade Ukraine. Representatives of Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, have blamed Russia for similar hacks in the past.

The hack used a method called DDoS (distributed denial-of-service), which works to overload servers. At the time, Ukrainian’s Ministry of Defense website said it was under maintenance.

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Oshadbank and Privatbank also suffered from the attack. Oshadbank said that its systems slowed and Privatbank didn't immediately comment. However, Privatbank customers reported issues with the bank, including with payments and the banking app.

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Is Ukraine back online?

By Feb. 16, Ukraine sources were still reporting a cyberattack. Ukraine isn't out of the woods yet and the cyberattack is still ongoing. Russia hasn't claimed responsibility for the cyberattack. Russia has sent some troops back to base from the Ukrainian border.

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What does the cyberattack mean for Ukraine now and in the future?

U.S. President Biden spoke about the Russian threat against Ukraine. He said, “Our analysts indicate that they remain very much in a threatening position.”

Russia doesn’t want Ukraine to join the NATO military alliance and is threatening the nation in a way that's reminiscent of the Cold War era. A cyberattack could potentially preface a physical attack against the nation.

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“It could mean a physical attack is imminent, or it could mean Russia is continuing to mess with Ukraine,” a European diplomat told reporters about the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

As for the U.S., Biden said, “If Russia attacks the United States or our allies through asymmetric means like disruptive cyber attacks against our companies or critical infrastructure, we're prepared to respond.”

Global stocks responded to the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

On Feb. 15, stocks broke a multi-day bear run as Russia-Ukraine tensions seemed to ease. Most prominently, the tech and travel sectors helped break the cycle. In aftermarket hours on Feb. 15, futures were fairly flat—a big difference from days prior. By Feb. 16, the Nasdaq rose 2.53 percent, while the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased by 1.58 percent and 1.22 percent, respectively.


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