RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Tech giant Cisco says that hundreds of thousands of routers have been compromised in preparation for what could be a major cyberattack against Ukraine.

A Cisco graphic describes the latest cyber threat.

According to Reuters. Cisco’s Talos cyber intelligence unit “has high confidence that the Russian government is behind the campaign, dubbed VPNFilter, because the hacking software shares code with malware used in previous cyber attacks that the U.S. government has attributed to Moscow.”

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Ukraine’s Cyberpolice says in a statement that it was possible the hackers planned to strike during “large-scale events,” an apparent reference to the country’s upcoming Constitution Day celebrations or the Champions League final in Kiev on Saturday.

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Ukraine has been locked in years-long struggle with Russia-backed separatists in the country’s east and has repeatedly been hit by cyberattacks of escalating severity.

Reuters noted that in 2017 the so-called NotPetya worm “crippled critical systems, including hospitals , across the country.”