Ukraine suspects hacker group linked to Belarusian intelligence behind cyberattack

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Updated: Jan 16, 2022, 01:29 PM(IST)

Cyberattack (Representational Image) Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

An official said that this is a "cyber-espionage group" affiliated with the special services of Belarus while commenting on UNC1151

In the aftermath of the cyberattack on Ukrainian government websites this week, Kyiv believes that a hacker group linked to Belarusian intelligence was behind it. 

A senior Ukrainian security official said that the hacker used malware similar to that used by a group tied to Russian intelligence.

Serhiy Demedyuk, deputy secretary of the national security and defence council told Reuters that Ukraine blamed Friday's attack on a group known as UNC1151 and claimed that the cyberattack is a cover for more destructive actions behind the scenes. 

"We believe preliminarily that the group UNC1151 may be involved in this attack," he said.

In the recent alarming cyberattack, a warning was splashed on websites to "be afraid and expect the worst" amid escalated Ukraine-Russia tensions after Russia has massed troops near Ukraine's borders. 

Demedyuk said in written comments: "The defacement of the sites was just a cover for more destructive actions that were taking place behind the scenes and the consequences of which we will feel in the near future." 

He said that this is a "cyber-espionage group" affiliated with the special services of Belarus while commenting on UNC1151. 

Apart from Kyiv, the Western countries and diplomatic experts fear Moscow is planning a new military assault on Ukraine. 

Russia has dismissed such fears as "unfounded" and the office of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko did not immediately respond.

Meanwhile, Microsoft Corp said in a blog post on Saturday it observed destructive malware in systems belonging to several Ukrainian government agencies and organisations. 

Ukraine-Russia tensions

Ukrainian government forces carried out exercises in eastern Ukraine on Thursday and on the other hand, Russia is preparing to create a pretext for a broader invasion of Ukraine, officials in Washington have warned. 

They also said that Russia has already prepositioned operatives to conduct a "false flag operation".

 

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