Ukraine Says It Prevented Cyberattack Ordered by Russia

KYIV, Ukraine (Reuters) -

Ukraine’s SBU security service has detained a local resident on suspicion of planning a Russian-ordered cyberattack on the resources of Ukrainian state institutions, it said on Tuesday.

“The attack targeted central and local governments, and the aim was to block the operation of information and critical infrastructure facilities,” an SBU statement said.

In Moscow, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the accusation. The SBU said the hacker was meant to send a disguised file containing spyware to Ukrainian officials.

Last month, the SBU said it had prevented a large cyberattack by Russian hackers targeting classified government data.

Kyiv has previously accused Moscow of orchestrating cyberattacks as part of a “hybrid war” against Ukraine. Russia denies this.

Ukraine and Russia have been at loggerheads since Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and involvement in a conflict in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region, which Kyiv says has killed 14,000 people.

Ukraine, its Western allies and NATO have accused Russia of a provocative build-up of troops on Ukraine’s eastern border and in Crimea, while Russia has accused the United States and NATO of provocative activity in the Black Sea region.