KYIV, UKRAINE, Dec 12 — Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has already initiated criminal proceedings over cyberattacks on information and communication systems of Ukraine’s critical infrastructure, government agencies, enterprises and institutions by criminal groups specially created by Russia.

Kyivstar subscribers noticed issues with their communications, website and mobile app that stopped working on the morning of December 12.

The company later reported that it was a hacker attack. Kyivstar officials said that the personal information of its subscribers remained unaffected. One of the versions currently being investigated by the SBU is the possible interference of Russian special services, the Prosecutor General’s Office said.

“The war with Russia has many dimensions, and one of them is cyberspace. Unfortunately, this morning Kyivstar became the target of a powerful hacker attack, which temporarily disrupted our communication and Internet services. While the timeframe for restoration of services is still unclear, we are working to eliminate the consequences of this attack in order to restore communication as soon as possible,” commented Oleksandr Komarov, Kyivstar CEO.

National roaming is unavailable due to a technical failure in Kyivstar’s network that blocks the transfer of subscriber information to other operators. Therefore, the operator’s users cannot switch to other operators via domestic roaming, the Ministry of Digital Transformation reported.

According to a bank spokesperson, the failure also partially affects the operation of some PrivatBank terminals and ATMs. The problem concerns terminals that use mobile cards from the operator.

Cyberattacks on Ukraine’s infrastructure

In January-June 2023, the number of cyberattacks against Ukraine increased to 762 reported cases, which is more than twice as many as in the second half of last year. This is stated in the analytical report of the State Service for Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine.

In the second half of 2022, 342 cyberattacks were registered, with an average of 57 monthly incidents and 1-2 per day. At the same time, in 6 months in the first half of 2023, there were 762 registered cyberattacks, an average of 128 per month and 4-5 per day.

At the same time, the number of critical cyberattacks decreased by 81% to 27 critical incidents during this period, which indicates an improvement in protection.