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Mail.Ru Group denies allegations of hacking Ukrainian president’s website

May 17, 2017, 14:51 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, May 17. /TASS/. Mail.Ru Group said it did not carry out a supposed cyber attack on the Ukrainian president’s website: The upsurge in traffic was caused by a massive public outcry over the new round of sanctions against Russian companies, the company’s press service official told TASS.

Earlier the Ukrainian president’s administration posted a message on its official Facebook page about an alleged hacker attack against the president’s website. "We registered the forging of IP addresses and a DDoS attack from the Yandex and VKontakte web sources, that created attack traffic in order to boot and crash our servers," the statement said.

"We calmly accepted the reports of the alleged hacker attacks made by the VKontakte web resources. Our Ukrainian colleagues have simply mixed up the notions of hacker attacks and the traffic growth," Mail.Ru Group reported.

VKontakte also reported the traffic growth in its resources after the sanctions had been announced. "Our systems have managed to deal with a dramatic traffic rise," the company’s representative stressed, adding that such incidents often occur when unpopular bans are introduced.

Apart from this, the Odnoklassniki and VKontakte users visited the published link to the order, causing server overload. "It has nothing to do with a hacker attack," Mail.Ru Group said.

Yandex commented on the hacker attack allegation, saying "It’s not true."

Extending Ukrainian sanctions

Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko issued an order to extend economic sanctions against Russians and Russian companies that was published on the morning of May 16. The renewed sanction list comprises a number of Russian mass media outlets and IT companies, in particular RBC, TV Center, VGTRC, NTV Plus, and Zvezda television channels, along with the Kaspersky Laboratory and Dr.Web antivirus software developers.

Besides, Mail.Ru Group and its social networks - VKontakte and Odnoklassniki - as well as Yandex and its services, were also banned.

According to Kiev, Russian social networks were used to "illegally gather information, propagate, recruit informants, and spread pirated content." Ukrainian providers now have to block access to these resources for three years.

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