EU Condemns Cyberattack on Ukraine, NATO Pledges 'Enhanced Cyber
January 17, 2022
The White House Friday reached out to Ukraine to offer its support after
several of its government agencies suffered a cyberattack overnight.
A White House National Security Council ((NSC)) spokesman tells VOA that
U.S. President Joe Biden was briefed on the attack, which shut down as
many as 15 Ukraine’s government websites. The spokesman said the NSC has
offered whatever support it can provide as it continues to access the
impact of the attack.
Ukraine's foreign ministry reported Friday the ministries affected
included the treasury, the national emergency service and the state
services, where Ukrainians' electronic passports and vaccination
certificates are stored.
The websites contained a message from the hackers in Ukrainian, Russian
and Polish, saying Ukrainians' personal data has been leaked into the
public domain, though Ukraine’s State Service of Communication and
Information Protection told the Associated Press there was no evidence
personal data has been leaked.
Oleksiy Danilov, Ukraine's National Defense and Security Council
secretary, told VOA Friday the hackers did not reach their goal, which
he said was to shut key parts of Ukraine’s government. He said the
attack came around 2 a.m., and many of the sites were brought back up
immediately, while others were still down hours later.
While it is difficult to determine exactly who was behind the attack,
Danilov told VOA Russia is the only country that can perform a
cyberattack on such a scale.
Meanwhile, European Union officials also condemned Friday's cyberattack
and pledged to use EU resources to assist the nation.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance's cyber
experts have been exchanging information with their Ukrainian
counterparts on "the current malicious cyber activities." He said
NATO-allied experts in the country are also supporting Ukrainian
Stoltenberg also announced NATO and Ukraine will sign an agreement on
enhanced cyber cooperation, which would include giving Ukraine access to
NATO's malware information-sharing platform.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an EU foreign ministers
meeting in Brest, France, EU Foreign Affairs chief Josep Borrell issued
the "strongest condemnation" of the attack and said an emergency meeting
of the EU political committee would be held to discuss how to react. He
pledged to "mobilize all our resources to help Ukraine" increase its
The incident follows a week of largely fruitless diplomatic efforts to
de-escalate tensions along Russian-Ukrainian border, where Moscow has
amassed an estimated 100,000 troops and equipment, raising fears of an
Russia insists the troops are there for its own protection but is
demanding NATO provide guarantees it will stop its eastward expansion,
beginning with not allowing Ukraine to join the alliance, a move Moscow
perceives as a threat. NATO has repeatedly rejected that request, saying
Russia has no veto over NATO membership for other countries.