(Bloomberg) -- Hackers linked to the Belarusian security service may be behind last week’s cyberattack against Ukraine, according to a Ukrainian official.

The former Soviet nation endured a mass cyberattack at several of its ministries and public services on Friday. 

Preliminary findings show that a group of hackers known as UNC1151 from Russian ally Belarus may have led the operation, Serhiy Demedyuk, deputy head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, told Bloomberg News in a text message. 

UNC1151 is a cyber-spy group related to the Belarus security service, Demedyuk said. The group uses a tactic known as “credential harvesting,” or gaining unsanctioned access to mail accounts, followed by the spread of malware, he said. 

According to Demedyuk, the hacking group has been active in Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and Ukraine, and often use a narrative that mocks NATO’s presence in the Northern Europe.  

Reuters and Ukraine’s news service RBC earlier reported the possible Belarusian involvement in the hack. The Belarusian government hasn’t responded to Ukraine’s claims. 

Ukraine on Friday said there were “signs” that Russia may be behind the latest cyberattack. Russia denied those accusations. 

Tensions in the region have escalated in recent weeks as Russia continues to keep troops near its border with Ukraine, a move that may be preparation for a full-scale invasion, according to Ukraine’s Western partners. 

Russia says it wants NATO to bar Ukraine and other ex-Soviet states from membership, and to roll back its forces to positions they held in 1997.  

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