Russia destroyed satellite internet in Ukraine, officials say

Figures with computers and smartphones are seen in front of the words ‘Cyber ​​Attack’, binary codes and the Ukrainian flag, in this illustration taken February 15, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

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  • Britain: British and American intelligence services suggest that Russia is behind the attack
  • EU: Attack on Viasat had “significant impact” on communications
  • Attack targeting Ukrainian army but causing disruption
  • Russia regularly denies carrying out cyberattacks

May 10 (Reuters) – Russia was behind a massive cyberattack on a satellite internet network in Ukraine that knocked thousands of modems offline early in the war, Britain said on Tuesday. Canada and the European Union.

The digital assault on Viasat’s (VSAT.O) KA-SAT network in late February came just as Russian armor entered Ukraine, helping to facilitate President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of the country, said the Council of the EU in a press release.

“This cyberattack has had a significant impact, causing indiscriminate communication outages and disruptions across several public authorities, businesses and users in Ukraine, as well as affecting several EU member states,” the statement said.

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A UK Foreign Office statement quoted Foreign Secretary Liz Truss as saying the cyberattack was a “deliberate and malicious Russian attack on Ukraine”.

Russia’s primary target in the attack was Ukraine’s military, but it also disrupted wind farms and internet users in central Europe, the statement said, citing Britain’s National Cyber ​​Security Center (NCSC).

The cyberattack was one of the most severe and debilitating to hit Ukraine before the Russian invasion and during the war. Read more

The Foreign Office statement cited “new British and American intelligence” that suggested Russia was behind the cyberattack, without giving further details.

Canadian officials said they were sharing intelligence on cyber threats with Ukraine and providing assistance “in an effort to strengthen that country’s defense against unprovoked and unlawful invasion by Russia.”

The remote sabotage caused “a huge loss of communications at the very beginning of the war,” Ukrainian cybersecurity chief Victor Zhora said in March. Read more

Russia routinely denies conducting offensive cyber operations. The Kremlin did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Western intelligence agencies, including the US National Security Agency, ANSSI, the French government’s cybersecurity organization, and Ukrainian intelligence services were investigating Russia’s potential role in the attack in the days that followed. followed, Reuters reported at the time. Read more

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Reporting by James Pearson; Additional reporting by William James in London; Editing by William Maclean, Angus MacSwan and Bernadette Baum

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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