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China Accused of Cyber Attack on Ukraine Before Russian Invasion

Ukrainian SBU intelligence memos detail large-scale Chinese cyberattacks on Ukraine’s military and nuclear facilities in the build-up to Russia’s invasion.  Defense ministry websites in Kyiv and other institutions suffered thousands of hacking attempts coordinated by the Chinese government according to Ukrainian sources who say the attacks began during the final week of the winter Olympics and peaked one day before Russia invaded.  Documents attributed to the SBU indicate that Beijing sought to infiltrate targets including the border defense forces and the national bank and railway authority in order to steal data and explore ways to shut down or disrupt vital defense and civilian infrastructure.

The UK government confirmed that the National Cyber Security Centre was investigating the allegations, which claim that more than 600 websites, including Ukraine’s defence ministry, were subjected to thousands of hacking attempts coordinated by the Chinese government. However, the Ukrainian security service denied on Friday night that it had supplied any information on the alleged attacks.

It added: “The SBU has nothing to do with the findings of the Times. The Security Service of Ukraine does not currently have such data and no investigation is underway.” The Times, which obtained intelligence in relation to the attack, said a series of intelligence memos, thought to be prepared by another country, detailed the scale of the hacking and included nuclear targets, which allegedly peaked on 23 February, the day before the Russian invasion.

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