Hacker attacks on Ukraine

The first information concerning hacker attacks on Ukrainian companies and institutions appeared at the turn of 2013 and 2014, during the protests in Kiev against contemporary authorities. The British BAE Systems Applied Intelligence company has reported numerous instances of using the “Snake” computer virus in Ukraine, which gave access to the infected IT systems. According to western experts, the virus may have been provided by Russian special services. During the presidential election in Ukraine on May 21st 2014, hackers from the CyberBerkut group attacked the “Election” IT system which resulted in problems with accessing the election results for 20 hours. On December 23rd 2015 an attack was carried out (regarded as the first one in the world) on a power grid system. The target was an energy directing system of the Prykarpattyaoblenergo company. 30 substations were turned off. 230 thousand residents were left without electricity for a period ranging from one to six hours. The BlackEnergy Trojan horse was used to carry out the attack. Chernivtsi and Kiev energy distributing companies were also attacked, although the effects of these attacks were not as severe. According to experts, evidence indicate that the attacks were carried out from Russia and constituted a “display of power” against Ukraine. On December 6th 2016 an attack was carried out on the websites of state institutions and their internal networks, including the State Treasury, which resulted in problems with performing timely payments from the budget. This time the attackers have also used i.a. the BlackEnergy Trojan horse. On the night between December 17th and 18th 2016, the control system of Ukrenergo’s substation “North” has been attacked. A number of Kiev’s residents, and those living in regions neighboring the city, were left without electricity. Although, it was possible to remove the damages within 1 hour and 15 minutes.