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Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the European Union on malicious cyber activities conducted by hackers and hacker groups in the context of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine

By European Union

July 21, 2022

Russia's unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine has been accompanied by a significant increase of malicious cyber activities, including by a striking and concerning number of hackers and hacker groups indiscriminately targeting essential entities globally. This increase in malicious cyber activities, in the context of the war against Ukraine, creates unacceptable risks of spillover effects, misinterpretation and possible escalation. In this regard, we recall the EU and its Member States’ strong condemnation of the cyber-attacks against Ukraine on 14 January 2022, and the attribution on 10 May 2022 of the malicious cyber activity targeting the satellite KA-SAT network to the Russian Federation.

The latest distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against several EU Member States and partners claimed by pro-Russian hacker groups are yet another example of the heightened and tense cyber threat landscape that EU and its Member States have observed. We strongly condemn this unacceptable behaviour in cyberspace and express solidarity with all countries that have fallen victim. We remain determined to address and investigate malicious cyber activities affecting international peace, security and stability, including the security of the European Union and its Member States, their democratic institutions, citizens, businesses, and civil society.

The European Union recalls the need for all UN Member States to adhere to the UN Framework of responsible state behaviour in cyberspace in order to ensure international peace, security and stability. We call upon all states to comply with their due diligence obligations and urge them to take appropriate actions against malicious cyber activities conducted from their territory. Furthermore, we urge all relevant actors to raise awareness on cyber threats and to take preventive measures to protect critical infrastructure.

We underline our continued support to the strengthening of global cyber resilience, and to improve preparedness in the face of cyber threats and mitigate attacks. We continue to closely monitor the situation in view of taking further steps where necessary to prevent and counter such malicious behaviour in cyberspace.

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