Microsoft Confirms Attack on Ukraine Computers; government accuses Russia

Edifício do gabinete de ministros, em Kiev, na Ucrânia, onde vários computadores foram afetados pelo malware.

Building of the Cabinet of Ministers in Kiev, Ukraine, where several computers were affected by the malware.| Photo: Wikimedia Commons

THE Microsoft made public on Saturday night the information that it discovered the presence of amalware

on dozens of Ukrainian government computers. This is harmful software that can be used to render devices inoperable.

The technology giant reported the discovery through its official blog, noting that it was first detected on Thursday (13), date that coincides with a cyberattack against Ukrainian government websites. Authorities in the country claim to have evidence that the attack was involving Russia.

According to company investigators, the software is designed to look like a ransomware

The attack comes amid heightened tensions between Kiev and Moscow, which maintain troops on both sides of the border. The root of the diplomatic conflict would be the possible accession of countries that made up the Soviet Union, such as Ukraine and Georgia, to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which the Russians see as a threat. Commenting on the episode, the newspaper The New York Times recalled that in 2014, Russian intelligence agencies reportedly tried unsuccessfully to change the outcome of the Ukrainian elections through a cyberattack on Ukraine’s Central Election Commission. In 2015, the first of two major attacks on Ukraine’s power grid put out lights for hours in different parts of the country, including in Kiev, the capital.