Microsoft says destructive malware has been detected in Ukrainian government agencies’ systems

US software giant Microsoft first detected the malware on Thursday. (Representative)

Microsoft Corp said in a blog post on Saturday that it has observed destructive malware in systems belonging to several Ukrainian government agencies and organizations that work closely with the Ukrainian government.

Victims of the malware include Ukrainian government agencies that provide critical executive branch or emergency response functions, Microsoft said.

An information technology company that maintains websites for public and private sector clients, including government agencies whose websites were recently downgraded, was also affected. Microsoft did not identify the IT company involved.

The US software giant, which first detected the malware on Thursday, said the malware attacks did not use any vulnerabilities in Microsoft products and services.

A massive cyberattack broke out on government websites on Thursday evening, warning Ukrainians to “be afraid and expect the worst”, leaving some websites inaccessible on Friday morning and prompting Ukraine to open an investigation.

Reuters reported on Saturday that Ukraine suspected a hacker group linked to Belarusian intelligence services had carried out a cyberattack and used malware similar to that used by a group linked to Russian intelligence services, according to a senior Ukrainian security official.

The malware, which is disguised as ransomware, would render the infected computer system inoperable if activated by the attacker, Microsoft said, adding that the company will continue to work with the cybersecurity community to identify and assist targets and attackers. victims.