KIEV: Several major Ukrainian government websites were taken offline on Friday in a full-scale cyber attack amid escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine’s western allies, authorities said.
“Due to a massive cyber attack, the websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and some other government agencies are temporarily closed,” a foreign ministry spokesman told AFP.
The Ministry of Education wrote on Facebook that its website was taken down by a “global (cyber) attack” that occurred overnight.
The websites of the Cabinet and the Ministry of Emergencies were also targeted, and services were later restored to the government website.
Responsibility was not immediately claimed, and Kiev did not say who might be responsible. Ukraine has blamed previous attacks on Russians linked to the Kremlin.
“Our experts are already working to restore the IT systems and the cyber police has launched an investigation,” the foreign ministry said.
Despite biting international sanctions over its nuclear weapons programme, Pyongyang tested what it said were hypersonic missiles on January 5 and January 11.
After the second test, which was personally supervised by leader Kim Jong Un, the United States imposed additional sanctions on five people linked to North Korea’s ballistic weapons programme.
The move prompted accusations from a foreign ministry spokesman in Pyongyang that the United States was “intentionally escalating” the situation.
If “the US adopts such a confrontational stance, the DPRK will be forced to take stronger and certain reaction to it,” the spokesman said in comments carried by state news agency KCNA earlier on Friday.
It is North Korea’s “legitimate right” to develop new weapons as part of its drive for “modernizing its national defence capability,” the spokesman said.