China launched cyberattack against Ukraine before Russian invasion: Report

According to reports, China had launched cyberattacks on Ukraine before the Russian invasion.

Reports claim the cyberattacks were targeted at Ukraine’s military and nuclear targets. The attacks were reportedly directed against Ukraine’s defence ministry with 600 websites being targeted.

The Times of London quoting Ukraine’s security service said other institutions including the national bank and railway network were also targeted in the hacking attempt by China. 

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The Chinese cyberattacks were apparently carried out before the Winter Olympics in Beijing and peaked a day before the invasion on February 23. Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered a “special military operation” against Ukraine on February 24.

President Biden had warned China against providing support to Russia amid the Ukraine invasion. During a phone call to President Xi, Biden had said there would be “consequences” if China aided Russia during the war.

China has taken a neutral stance on the Ukraine war while calling for “restraint” and de-escalation. Before the invasion, Ukraine had blamed Russia for a series of cyberattacks accusing it of targeting its official websites.

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Last month President Biden had warned that US companies should protect themselves against possible Russian cyberattacks as Kremlin hit out against the US president’s accusations.

In January, over a month before the invasion, Ukraine had said Russian hackers had downed 70 government websites including a website which stored personal vaccination data and certificates. The Ukrainian officials moved to quickly restore the sites. Ukraine’s security service had said it had neutralised over 1,000 cyberattacks last year.

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Russian deputy foreign minister Oleg Syromolotov called it “absurd” and added that it was an attempt to spread “dangerous gratuitous accusations”

(With inputs from Agencies)