In the latest event of ransomware hitting government-run entities, a cryptovirological attack has affected the website of Ukraine’s Ministry of Energy. The attack took place in the early morning of April 24, locking down the files on the ministry’s website. A ransom note can be seen on the landing page, demanding a nominal amount of money to restore ransomware files.
According to the department’s spokesperson, they are trying to get back the website by restoring ransomware files on their own. Fortunately, the attack hasn’t spread to the other government websites or energy companies working under the ministry. Nonetheless, this ransomware infiltration has once again demonstrated that government entities have become a soft target for cryptographic operators.
One cyber security research firm has analyzed the attack and concluded that the website has been targeted by two different groups. The first attack couldn’t do any damage, but the second infiltration got succeeded in encrypting data on the website and left a ransom note and payment details.
It is important to note that the email ID given by the attackers on the ministry’s website has been used in other ransomware attacks as well. However experts are in agreement that this ransomware attack looks like a prank, instigated by amateurs. The attackers only asked for $927 to restore ransomware files. Organized cybercriminals don’t launch attacks on state-run operations for such insignificant monetary benefits. Some people are also suggesting that it could also be a hacktivist activity.
Nevertheless, it is obvious that this ransomware attack is not severe in nature. It is worth mentioning that in the past Ukraine sustained damaging cyber attacks in the garb of ransomware. The intention of those ransomware operators was also not centered on making money. However, they wanted to spread chaos by disrupting public services.
NotPetya ransomware attack is one such example where attackers disrupted business operations of large conglomerates and services of government entities. Ukraine also got affected by the attack. Notpetya operators didn’t make any money from the attack, but they succeeded in inflicting the losses of millions.