April 26, 2018
Hackers have used informal illegal computer software that disables a computer until a payment is received to
take the website of Ukraine’s energy ministry disconnected and encrypt its files.
The website presently has a message written in English, requiring a payment of 0.1 bitcoin – worth $927.86.
Ukrainian cyber-police spokeswoman Yulia Kvitko stated the attack is an “isolated occurrence” and no other government websites have been impacted.
She added that the energy ministry’s electronic mail system was still up and running.
“This occurrence is not large-scale. If required, we are prepared to respond and assist,” said Ms. Kvitko.
“Our experts are working right now… We do not know how long it will take to solve the problem.”
As per cyber-security research company AlienVault, the hackers behind this cyber-attack have earlier undermined other websites, however, they have only made around £100 from their attempts.
AlienVault thinks the energy ministry website has been attacked by two separate hackers – the first hacker, who signs his name “X-Zakaria” at the bottommost of the webpage, just defaced the website.
The safety company thinks that a second hacker then came along, encrypted the website’s records, and added a ransomware display and payment particulars.
“What has possibly occurred here is that a hacker has hacked the site for enjoyment, after that the criminal ransomware attacker has used their side door, which you can view at the bottommost of the page, to try and make some money,” AlienVault safety researcher Chris Doman informed the BBC.
He said that it was possible that these hackers were laypersons, instead of nation-state attackers.
“It’s definitely correct that attacks versus Ukraine have imitated ransomware earlier, to hide their factual purpose of pure annihilation, and in several instances, energy companies like this have been the main target,” said Mr. Doman.
“Nevertheless, in this instance, the proof points to something more mundane.”