(Representative Image) Photograph:( Reuters )
The websites were down after Ukraine's vice prime minister said that it had launched an 'IT army' to combat Russia in cyberspace
The official website of the Kremlin, the office of Russian President Vladimir Putin, kremlin.ru, was down on Saturday. This comes after there were reports of denial of service (DDoS) attacks on various other Russian government and state media websites.
The websites were down after Ukraine's vice prime minister said that it had launched an 'IT army' to combat Russia in cyberspace.
A newly discovered piece of destructive software was found circulating in Ukraine on Wednesday. According to researchers at the cybersecurity firm ESET, this impacted hundreds of computers.
Meanwhile, 'Anonymous,' a cyber hacker group, declared a "cyberwar" against Putin's administration as it launched a full-scale invasion of Kyiv amid the continuing Russia-Ukraine conflict. The hacking collective's goal, according to international media, is to deactivate several Russian government websites.
A social media account purporting to represent the group wrote on Thursday that "The Anonymous collective is officially in cyberwar against the Russian government."
The "Anonymous collective has taken down the website of the Russian propaganda channel RT News," it added, confirming the RT.com hack.
Meanwhile, the Russian government's websites, the Kremlin, the Duma, and the Ministry of Defense were all hit by the hacker collective's 'cyberattack.'
(With inputs from agencies)