Massive cyberattack hits Ukrainian government websites

In this undated handout photo released by the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Press Service, the building of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry is seen during snowfall in Kyiv, Ukraine.
(UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY PRESS SERVICE VIA AP)

KYIV – A massive cyberattack warning Ukrainians to "be afraid and expect the worst" hit government websites late on Thursday, leaving some websites inaccessible on Friday morning and prompting Kyiv to open an investigation.

Ukraine's foreign ministry spokesperson told Reuters it was too early to say who could be behind the attack.

The Ukraine government later said it had restored most of the affected sites and that no personal data had been stolen. A number of other government websites have been suspended to prevent the attack from spreading

The cyberattack hit the foreign ministry, the cabinet of ministers and the security and defense council among others.

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"Ukrainian! All your personal data was uploaded to the public network. All data on the computer is destroyed, it is impossible to restore it," said a message visible on the hacked government websites, written in Ukrainian, Russian and Polish.

"All information about you has become public, be afraid and expect the worst. This is for your past, present and future."

The Ukraine government later said it had restored most of the affected sites and that no personal data had been stolen. A number of other government websites have been suspended to prevent the attack from spreading, it said.

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Ukraine has suffered a series of cyber attacks since 2014, which have knocked out power supplies, frozen supermarket tills, and forced the authorities to prop up the hryvnia currency after banks' IT systems crashed.