A hacking group has attacked German government websites, including Chancellor Angela Merkel's page.
Called CyberBerkut, the group has claimed responsibility for the hacks, which have left several government sites periodically unavailable all morning. According to Reuters, which earlier reported on the hack, Chancellor Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert confirmed that the government's data centers are "under a severe attack."
The hacking group's website says that it has blocked German government pages to "appeal (to) all people and (the) government of Germany to stop financial and political support of criminal regime in Kiev, which unleashed a bloody civil war."
The timing of the hacks is significant. Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk is set to meet with German President Joachim Gauck in Berlin on Wednesday to discuss the impact that fights between pro-Russia separatists in Ukraine and government forces are having on civilians and the region. Some groups have criticized Germany for failing to act decisively on the Ukrainian crisis.
CyberBerkut's name is derived from the term "Berkut," which references the riot squads pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovich used last year before he was replaced. The term has become synonymous with complaints over civilian deaths and civil war in Ukraine.
According to the Reuters report, Germany has enacted protocols that will safeguard its online systems.
The German government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.