Russian Ministry Website Hacked With Pro Ukraine Message

Russian internet © Pavel Ignatov Shutterstock 2012

Cyber warfare continues. Hack of Russian housing ministry website points online searches to “Glory to Ukraine” sign in Ukrainian

The Russia government has suffered another high profile cyberattack, after one of its ministry websites was compromised.

Reuters reported that the website of Russia’s Ministry of Construction, Housing and Utilities had been been hacked at the weekend, with an internet search for the site leading to a “Glory to Ukraine” sign written in Ukrainian.

However Russian officials have reacted quickly, and as of 10am Monday morning, the hyperlink is redirecting properly to the Russian website.

Ukraine - Shutterstock - © Mykhaylo Palinchak

Russian claims

The hack of the Russian government website took place on Sunday evening, Reuters reported, citing Russia’s state news agency RIA.

The Russian news agency quoted a ministry representative as saying that the site was down but users’ personal data was protected.

RIA reportedly said that other media had reported that hackers were demanding a ransom to prevent the public disclosure of users’ data.

But Reuters said it was not able to ascertain which media outlets were being cited by the RIA.

Indeed, any Russian claims should be treated with a high degree of caution due to the levels of ‘disinformation’ stemming from that country.

But the reported attack has prompted security experts to speculate about who may have been responsible for the attack – given that nearly all of the world has condemned Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.

“Fighting fire with fire is a dangerous yet powerful tactic, but even stronger when in stealth mode with no obvious attribution,” noted Jake Moore, global cyber security advisor at ESET.

Jake Moore, ESET

“There are, however, now many groups who could potentially be behind such attacks as the world remains firmly behind Ukraine,” said Moore. “This cyber war presents a persistent threat, which requires constant monitoring and the ability to adapt to the ever changing threat landscape.”

Other attacks

And it is fair to say that there has been many cyberattacks against Russia after it began its unprovoked invasion of a sovereign nation on 24 February.

Indeed, such was the global outrage at Russia’s aggression, hacking groups such as Anonymous have been fighting back and conducting numerous cyberattacks against Russian targets, including Russian state TV channels and the Russian communications regulator Roskomnadzor.

But Russia has carried out a large number of cyberattacks against Ukraine targets as well.

Last week the head of US Cyber Command, General Paul Nakasone, confirmed for the first time that US military hackers had conducted offensive operations in support of Ukraine, but did not disclosed details.