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"Prestupnosti.NET" and "NikLife" websites down due to a hacker attack on servers abroad

14.02.2023, 17:29
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The websites of two Mykolaiv online publications – "Prestupnosti.NET" and "NikLife" (Ukrainian Media Group) – have been down since February 12 due to a massive hacker attack on European and American data centers.

"Prestupnosti.NET" editor-in-chief Anatoliy Chubachenko reported this to the IMI representative in Mykolaiv oblast.

As of now, the administrators have not been able to restore access to the websites.

"On Sunday afternoon, February 12, our websites – 'Prestupnosti.NET' and 'NikLife' – stopped working. Error 522, which means hosting issues, would pop up in the browser. The admins started looking for the problem. As it turned out, we are not the only ones having server issues. Many data centers in Europe and the USA have suffered a massive attack, due to which data stored on thousands of servers has been blocked. Namely, the data of our websites, along with backups. Currently, our admins are trying to solve the problem, but to no avail. The situation is very serious and is happening on a global scale," Chubachenko noted.

According to him, on the same day, some hackers attacked NATO websites as well, including the Special Operations Forces headquarters platform.

Anatoliy Chubachenko suggests that Russian hackers are behind the attack. They demanded a ransom of 2 bitcoins from each company for restoring access to the data.

"It is unclear who is behind this attack, but one can assume that they are Russian hackers. Because it was European and American data centers that were attacked. The hackers demanded 2 bitcoins of ransom from each company for restoring access to the data. But those who did pay later said online that they never heard from the hackers again. Currently, the wallets to which they were asked to transfer the money are unavailable at all. That is, the attack was not aimed at 'making money', but at doing some damage to medium and small businesses in those countries that are actively helping and supporting Ukraine," Chubachenko said.

He noted that this is not the first attack on "Prestupnosti.NET" committed by Russian hackers.

"In the summer, our YouTube channel and my Facebook page were 'taken away.' And while I managed to regain control over my Facebook account, our YouTube channel was lost. We contacted Google, but the problem was never resolved. We hope that we will be able to restore the data. In the next few days, the website should be up and running, without the archive for now," said Anatoliy Chubachenko.

"Prestupnosti.NET" and "NikLife" addressed their readers on social media, inviting them to follow the publications' news on Telegram, Facebook, and Instagram, where journalists will be posting all news until access to the websites is restored.

As reported by IMI, on February 12, NATO websites suffered a cyber attack, probably by Russian hackers.

In July 2022, unknown persons gained access to the personal Facebook page of Mykolaiv online media "Prestupnosti.NET" editor-in-chief Anatoly Chubachenko and deleted it. In addition, attackers took over and deleted the media outlet's YouTube channel. The editors believe that this is all the work of russian special services or Russian hackers.

Later that month, "Prestupnosti.NET" and "Niklife" suffered a large-scale DDoS attack.

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