17:17 06.03.2019

Hackers trying more often to gain access to computers of state officials as elections near

2 min read
Hackers trying more often to gain access to computers of state officials as elections near

The number of cases of targeted spamming and phishing messages to state officials is increasing as the presidential elections near, Ukraine's Cyber Police has said.

"Since the beginning of the election campaign, we began to record a very large number of cyber incidents targeting government officials and state employees, including those involved in the electoral process. A very large number of phishing messages, spam have been sent out. This means criminals are trying to gain access to the computer of one or another official," Cyber Police Chief Serhiy Demediuk said in Kyiv on Wednesday.

He said the attacks are increasingly frequent.

"The attacks have increased on ministries and government departments, including the Foreign Affairs Ministry, on agencies which serve and are partners to Ukraine's Central Election Commission (CEC), as well as on local regional administrations," Demediuk said, adding that information is posted in closed forums about gaining access (to government servers).

"… To the Voter Registry, for example, which would allow criminals, as well as the aggressor, to wreck the electoral process," he said, adding that analysis of the revealed facts shows that most the shenanigans emanate from the Russian Federation. "It also happens from Ukraine, from other countries of the European Union and countries beyond its borders."

Demediuk said a massive amount of disinformation is being disseminated, both in social networks and in "unverified electronic publications that grow just like mushrooms." He said the Cyber Police works closely with the social networking platforms Facebook and Instagram, and is trying to identify disinformation and either block it in accordance with the rules of the network, or not give access to such information to citizens.

He said the Cyber Police closely interacts with Ukraine's SBU State Security Service.

"When information concerns what they are responsible for, the SBU is immediately notified," he said.

Demediuk said attempts to interfere with the work of the CEC are not only interfering with the work of the CEC website, but also involves the pages on the social networks of CEC members and other CEC employees.

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