Internet service Ukrainian telecom company disrupted by ‘powerful’ cyber attack

Figurines featuring computers and smartphones are seen in front of the words “Cyber ​​Attack”, binary codes, and Russian and Ukrainian flags, in this illustration, taken Feb. 15, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

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March 28 (Reuters) – Ukrainian state-owned telecommunications company Ukrtelecom (UTLM.PFT) experienced an internet service outage on Monday after a “vigorous” cyber attack, according to Ukrainian government officials and company representatives.

The incident is the latest hacking attack on Ukrainian internet services since Russian forces invaded in late February.

“Today, the enemy has carried out a powerful cyber attack on Ukrtelecom’s IT infrastructure,” said Yurii Shchyhol, chairman of Ukraine’s State Service for Special Communications and Information Protection. “The attack was repulsed. And now Ukrtelecom has the opportunity to restore its services to the customers.”

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“Currently, the attack is repulsed, services are gradually being resumed,” said Ukrtelecom spokesman Mikhail Shuranov.

NetBlocks, which monitors disruptions to internet services, posted on Twitter earlier Monday that it saw “connectivity collapsing” with “ongoing and increasing disruption on a national scale”.

Earlier this month, a similar incident occurred with Triolan, a smaller Ukrainian telecom company, Forbes previously reported. That company suffered a hack that reset some internal systems, causing some local subscribers to lose access.

Ukrtelecom had said in a statement earlier in the day that there were “temporary problems installing new internet sessions for Ukrtelecom customers”.

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special military operation” to disarm and “denazify” its neighbor. Kiev and the West see this as a pretext for an unprovoked invasion to try to overthrow the elected Ukrainian government.

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Reporting by Christopher Bing; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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