Western Allies Say Moscow Behind Cyberattack Ahead Of Ukraine Invasion
May 11, 2022
The European Union, Britain, and the United States say Russia
masterminded a massive cyberattack against a satellite Internet network
that disabled thousands of modems in Ukraine and parts of Central Europe
hours before the start of Moscow's invasion on February 24.
The digital assault against Viasat's KA-SAT network helped facilitate
Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the Western allies said in statements on
"This cyberattack 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," a statement by the European Council said.
"This unacceptable cyberattack is yet another example of Russia's
continued pattern of irresponsible behavior in cyberspace, which also
formed an integral part of its illegal and unjustified invasion of
Ukraine," it added.
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in a statement that the
cyberattack was a "deliberate and malicious attack by Russia against
The main target of the attack was the Ukrainian military, but it also
disrupted wind farms and Internet users in Central Europe, Truss said,
citing Britain's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).
The NCSC "assesses that it is almost certain Russia was responsible for
the subsequent cyberattack impacting Viasat on 24 February," the
Secretary of State Antony Blinken joined in condemning "Russia's
destructive cyberactivities against Ukraine." He noted that the
cyberattack had spillover impacts into other European countries and said
the United States and its allies and partners are taking steps to defend
against such actions.
The United States has developed new mechanisms to help Ukraine identify
cyberthreats and recover from cyberincidents, Blinken said in a
"We have also enhanced our support for Ukraine’s digital connectivity,
including by providing satellite phones and data terminals to Ukrainian
government officials, essential service providers, and critical
infrastructure operators," Blinken said.
There was no immediate official reaction from Russia, but Moscow
routinely denies being behind cyberattacks.