Microsoft says it informed the Ukrainian government about cyberattacks

Technology

A man carries his child while waiting to board an evacuation train at Kyiv central train station on February 28, 2022. The Russian army said on February 28 that Ukrainian civilians could “freely” leave the country’s capital Kyiv and claimed its air force dominated Ukraine’s skies as its invasion entered a fifth day.
Dimitar Dilkoff | AFP | Getty Images

Microsoft said Monday it’s been informing Ukraine about cyberattacks on civilian and military targets, though the software maker didn’t attribute the attacks to any specific actors.

“In recent days, we have provided threat intelligence and defensive suggestions to Ukrainian officials regarding attacks on a range of targets, including Ukrainian military institutions and manufacturers and several other Ukrainian government agencies,” Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president, wrote in a blog post. “This work is ongoing.”

U.S. tech companies are responding in myriad ways to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began late last week and has so far led to over 400 civilian deaths. Facebook owner Meta and Google parent Alphabet have announced efforts designed to tamp down misinformation on their platforms.

Microsoft said in the post that one of its primary responsibilities is to “help defend governments and countries from cyberattacks.” Smith said the company has employees in Russia, Ukraine and across the region.

On Feb. 24, before Russia launched its first missile strikes, Microsoft observed a new type of malware hitting Ukraine and delivered information to the country’s government, which is a customer, Smith wrote. The attacks have been narrowly targeted, in contrast to the NotPetya ransomware virus that hit the broader Ukrainian economy in 2017, he added.

“But we remain especially concerned about recent cyberattacks on Ukrainian civilian digital targets, including the financial sector, agriculture sector, emergency response services, humanitarian aid efforts, and energy sector organizations and enterprises,” Smith wrote. ”These attacks on civilian targets raise serious concerns under the Geneva Convention, and we have shared information with the Ukrainian government about each of them.”

A Microsoft spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the sources of the attacks.

Microsoft has also told the Ukrainian government about attempts to steal data, Smith wrote, and he said the company is removing state-run news company RT’s apps from the Windows app store and “further” de-ranking its websites in Bing web search results.

WATCH: Ukraine ‘is not ready to surrender or capitulate’ to Russia, foreign minister says

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