Just a few days after Ukraine’s national post office issued some cheeky stamps honouring the defiant Ukranian border guard who flipped off a Russian warship, Ukraine’s National Post Office, Ukrposhta, reported a massive cyberattack, meaning that — at least for now — you probably won’t be able to buy those stamps online.
Ukrposhta Director General Igor Smelyansky didn’t name a culprit behind the distributed-denial-of-service (DDOS) attack on the agency’s site. Given Russia’s penchant for state-run cyberattacks on Ukrainian domains and ongoing land invasion of Ukraine, it’s not a leap of faith to guess someone on that side of the two countries’ border had something to do with it.
“As of now, DDOS is still going on — an attack on our systems,” he wrote in a translated Facebook post Friday morning. “And although we have been able to partially restore them, it still does not allow the launch of an online store in a stable mode.”
He added that the Office was “[doing] everything” to restore the online store, along with “other Ukrposhti systems” that were downed by the attack.
This puts a damper on international stamp sales, but collectible is likely still doing gangbusters in Kyiv, where the central post office is housed. Reports emerged from the city earlier this week that hundreds of Ukranians proudly lined up to nab one of the stamp sheets honouring Ukranian border guard Roman Hrybov, whom you might know as the guy who stared down the Russian warship Moskova from Snake Island and told it to “go fuck [itself].” Ukrainian forces later sunk the Moskova, the largest ship in the Russian fleet, with missiles, according to the Pentagon. Postal portrait aside, Hrybov was also awarded a national medal for his bravery after being captured by Russian forces.
In another act of defiance, it does not look like the cyberattack against the stamp-sellers was 100% successful. Smelyansky noted in one of his announcements that during the Friday attack, roughly 9,500 customers were able to put orders through. He went on to note that the Office would accept at least another 7,000 after the systems were back up and running. A single high-stakes “fuck you” can resonate not only with an entire nation, but the world.