Ukrainian government infected with malware

Dozens of computer systems linked to the Ukrainian government, agencies and organizations were infected with malware, Microsoft announced on Saturday.

Microsoft in a statement said the malware, which was initially detected on Thursday, was disguised as ransomware but could infect computers and make them inoperable if activated by the attacker.

The company wrote in a separate statement that the malware was detected on “dozens of impacted systems and that number could grow as our investigation continues.”

“These systems span multiple government, non-profit, and information technology organizations, all based in Ukraine,’ the company wrote.

Microsoft said the malware impacted government agencies that handle executive branch or emergency response functions. It also reportedly affected an IT firm that oversees websites for public- and private-sector clients, including government agencies that were hit with a cyberattack last week that posted various messages on websites.

“massive cyberattack” breached a number of Ukrainian government websites on Friday, according to officials, which led some agency websites to be temporarily shut down. Hackers reportedly wrote messages including “be afraid and expect worse” and “All information about you has become public, be afraid and expect worse.”