Russia was behind the cyberattack on a satellite internet network serving Ukraine in February 2022, just hours before the start of the invasion of Ukraine, it has been confirmed by Western governments.
As Ukrainian troops battle the Russians on the ground, a full cyber offensive against the Eastern European nation continues and is expected to intensify.
The February incident saw commercial satellite operator Viasat suffer a partial outage of its KA-SAT network in Europe following a “deliberate and multi-faceted cyberattack”.
Viasat previously explained that the incident was a denial of service attack that made it difficult for many modems to stay online.
Billionaire and tech mogul Elon Musk has provided his SpaceX Starlink satellite internet to Ukraine since the start of the war in a bid to boost the country’s communications capabilities, but he recently said the jamming Russian intensified.
Become a member of the Cyber Security Hub and get exclusive access to our upcoming digital events, industry reports and expert webinars
“Starlink has so far resisted Russian cyber warfare jamming and hacking attempts, but they are stepping up their efforts,” Musk said in a post on Twitter.
In March, Musk remarked that Starlink resisted all hacking and jamming attempts.
Many cybersecurity commentators agree that Starlink has played a pivotal role in keeping Ukraine online.
“Starlink helps tremendously, but the Ukrainian government, like the majority, has only superficial security,” CIP Group CEO Andrew Jenkinson told CS Hub.
He pointed out that the IP address of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine website – 126.96.36.199 – was flagged as insecure.
Ukraine has been seen to thwart some of the recent cyberattacks that have come their way. In April, the country confirmed that it had taken urgent action in response to a security incident linked to a targeted cyberattack on its energy facilities.
However, Jenkinson said he was unsure whether Ukraine had had any real success in its cyber defenses. “They were fully exposed and exploitable and, as the IP address attached above shows, they still are.”
Russia, along with China, Iran, and North Korea, is infamous for its cybercriminal activities.
Charles Denyer, an Austin-based cybersecurity and national security expert, told CS Hub he doesn’t believe Russia’s Valdimir Putin unleashed cyberwarfare to its full potential in Ukraine and instead focused on traditional warfare. .
Denyer said that so far Ukraine has done a “good job” of protecting its critical infrastructure from cyberattacks.
In a March article for the IISS, SecDev Group Director and Senior Fellow at the Canadian Center for International Governance Innovation Rafal Rohozinski wrote: “Before the conflict, Ukraine was one of the best prepared in the world in terms of cybersecurity. defense”.
Ukraine withstood two attacks on its critical infrastructure and destructive malware, including NotPetya.
Putin has the Russian Federation’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), the Main Directorate of the General Staff (GRU), the Federal Security Service (FSB), the Federal Protective Service (FSO), the cybermilitary unit of GRU 26165, unit 74455 (more commonly known as Sandworm), the Internet Research Agency and others involved in cybercriminal activities.