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Ukraine Says Russian Hackers Targeting Kyiv's Power Grid, Financial System

February 16, 2017

Ukraine has accused Russian hackers of targeting its power grid, financial system, and other infrastructure with thousands of attacks and a new type of virus that attacks industrial processes.

Oleksandr Tkachuk, Ukraine's Security Service chief, said on February 15 that the attacks were orchestrated by the Russian security service with help from criminal hackers, and looked like they were designed by the same people who created malware known as "BlackEnergy."

Ukraine blamed hackers using BlackEnergy for knocking out part of Kyiv's power grid in December 2015, and for attacks last year on the Defense and Finance ministries and the State Treasury.

"Russian hackers and infobots become an important tool of the aggression against our country," Tkachuk said.

The latest attacks employed a mechanism dubbed "Telebots" to infect computers that control infrastructure, he said.

Moscow has repeatedly denied it is waging a "cyberwar" on Ukraine.

Slovakian cybersecurity firm ESET said it believes the Telebots evolved from the BlackEnergy hacking effort.

Separately on February 15, cybersecurity firm CyberX said that it had uncovered an espionage operation in Ukraine that had compromised more than 60 victims, including the Energy Ministry and a scientific research institute.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters

Source: http://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-russian- hackers-target-kyiv-power-grid-financial- energy-systems/28312508.html

Copyright (c) 2017. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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