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Ukraine Accuses Russia of Cyberattack on Judiciary Systems

Ukraine has once again accused Russian intelligence services of launching cyberattacks against one of its government organizations.

Ukrainian security service SBU announced on Tuesday that its employees blocked an attempt by Russian special services to breach information and telecommunications systems used by the country’s judiciary.

According to the SBU, the attack started with a malicious email purporting to deliver accounting documents. The documents hid a piece of malware that could have been used to disrupt judicial information systems and steal data.

An investigation revealed that the malware was operated using command and control (C&C) servers with Russian IP addresses, the SBU said. The agency claims the attack was blocked as a result of collaboration between the State Service on Intellectual Property (SSIP) and the State Judicial Administration.

Russia is often the prime suspect in major cyberattacks aimed at Ukraine. A perfect example is the recent VPNFilter campaign, which both the SBU and international cybersecurity firms have linked to Moscow.

Ukraine has previously accused Russia of launching attacks on its power grid in 2015 and 2016, the systems of the Kiev airport, and the website of the Ukrainian presidency.

Another recent cyber incident involving Russia and Ukraine was revealed on Wednesday, when Adobe announced that a Flash Player security update addressed a zero-day vulnerability.

Researchers who spotted attacks involving the exploit said the target was the FSBI "Polyclinic No. 2" of the Administrative Directorate of the President of the Russian Federation.

The attack was launched just days after Russian border guards opened fire on three Ukrainian vessels in the Kerch Strait. The Ukrainian vessels and their crew were captured.

Some of the injured crew members were taken to hospitals in Moscow and one of these hospitals could be the Polyclinic No. 2. Malicious documents involved in this attack were uploaded to VirusTotal from a Ukrainian IP address, which could indicate that Ukrainian cyberspies targeted the hospital to obtain information on the state of the crew members.

Related: U.S., Canada, Australia Attribute NotPetya Attack to Russia

Related: 'Bad Rabbit' Ransomware Attack Hits Russia, Ukraine

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.