Ukrainian flags are pictured during a rally at the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Kyiv.

Ukrainian flags are pictured during a rally at the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Kyiv. Future Publishing via Getty Images / Olena Khudiakova

More Cyber Attacks Disable Ukrainian Websites

Wednesday’s denial-of-service attacks on government, financial sites resemble earlier ones attributed to Russia.

Various financial and government websites in Ukraine were temporarily disabled Wednesday by heavy denial-of-service attacks that resembled ones last week attributed to Russia by U.S. officials.

Around 4 p.m. local time, attackers began to direct large volumes of fake traffic to various websites. The public-facing sites of the Cabinet of Ministers, Security Service of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada legislature, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were briefly knocked offline, according to Ukraine’s Center for Strategic Communications. The public website of Privatbank, a financial company, was also rendered temporarily inaccessible.

“Now they are already working, but there are possible interruptions,” the center said. 

A White House spokesperson said they were closely monitoring the attacks. “We will move with urgency to assess the nature and extent of this incident, and continue to help Ukraine recover and expose those responsible. We are tracking developments closely and are prepared to respond with resolve to any further Russian escalation in Ukraine.”

The attacks resembled ones that struck Ukrainian sites last week. On Feb. 18, Anne Neuberger,  Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technology, attributed those attacks to Russian military elements "transmitting high volumes of communication to Ukraine-based IP addresses and domains.” 

On Wednesday, a senior U.S. defense official said, "There's more sites that were attacked than were a couple of weeks ago. It's certainly a piece of their playbook, but we haven't been able to ascribe attribution, specifically at this time.”

Tara Copp contributed to this report.