In an interview to Kyiv Weekly, Head of the Department for the Prevention of Cyber Crimes at the Interior Ministry of Ukraine Maksym Lytvynov explains why some websites are shut down, how law enforcers prevent or react to  DDoS attacks, and what the punishments are for offenders.

“As people are making money on information technologies, some do it by illegal means. When the public patience reaches the threshold an IT industry becomes the target of criminal law. There are social relations that should be protected by the law. Articles concerning IT have constantly been added to the Criminal Code since 1998. With the lapse of time we have received so many inquiries that we had no choice but to set up a new department to respond to them,” Mr Lytvynov said.

When asked about the numerous and fierce DDoS attacks against political websites during the recent parliamentary elections and how the law enforcers plan to counteract hackers, the official said:

“Just as most countries in the world, Ukraine has more questions than answers starting with whether it is a DDoS attack or not and how such attacks can be identified… The fact is a DDoS attack that does not block a site is not considered a crime. It could be merely an attempted DDoS attack or a failed crime. This issue is quite complicated from the point of view of criminal law.”

“We have a national contact center connected to more than 60 countries. We also cooperate with Ukrainian CERT and with its help with CERTs in other countries. They help us deal with DDoS attacks by allowing us to identify hacker control centers and even establish a person that has ordered the attack. We have a lot of botnets in Ukraine who mostly work on order from abroad. Unfortunately, such crimes are rarely solved around the world. In our country, such cases can be counted on one hand,” Maksym Lytvynov concluded.