Ukrainian cellular and Internet still out, 1 day after suspected Russian cyberattack

A service center for "Kyivstar", a Ukrainian telecommunications company, that provides communication services and data transmission based on a broad range of fixed and mobile technologies.

Enlarge / A service center for “Kyivstar”, a Ukrainian telecommunications company, that provides communication services and data transmission based on a broad range of fixed and mobile technologies. (credit: Getty Images)

Ukrainian civilians on Wednesday grappled for a second day of widespread cellular phone and Internet outages after a cyberattack, purportedly carried out by Kremlin-supported hackers, hit the country’s biggest mobile phone and Internet provider a day earlier.

Two separate hacking groups with ties to the Russian government took responsibility for Tuesday’s attack striking Kyivstar, which has said it serves 24.3 million mobile subscribers and more than 1.1 million home Internet users. One group, calling itself Killnet, said on Telegram that “an attack was carried out on Ukrainian mobile operators, as well as on some banks,” but didn’t elaborate or provide any evidence. A separate group known as Solntsepek said on the same site that it took “full responsibility for the cyberattack on Kyivstar” and had “destroyed 10,000 computers, more than 4,000 servers, and all cloud storage and backup systems.” The post was accompanied by screenshots purporting to show someone with control over the Kyivstar systems.

In the city of Lviv, street lights remained on after sunrise and had to be disconnected manually, because Internet-dependent automated power switches didn’t work, according to NBC News. Additionally, the outage prevented shops throughout the country from processing credit payments and many ATMs from functioning, the Kyiv Post said.

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