Cyberattack in Ukraine war affected thousands across Europe

The attack caused a major loss in communications in Ukraine in the early hours of Russia’s invasion, top Ukrainian cybersecurity official Victor Zhora told reporters earlier this month. Asked who was responsible, Zhora said “We don’t need to attribute it since we have obvious evidence that it was organized by Russian hackers to disrupt connection between customers that use this satellite system.”

A cyberattack targeting a satellite network used by Ukraine’s government and military agencies shortly after Russia’s invasion also knocked offline tens of thousands of broadband internet users across Europe, the satellite owner disclosed Wednesday, AP reports.

The owner, U.S.-based Viasat, provided new details of how the cyberattack, the biggest known such attack in the war so far, was conducted and its wide-ranging impact. The attack affected users from Poland to France and knocked off remote access to thousands of wind turbines in central Europe.

Viasat did not say in its statement who it believed was responsible for the attack. Ukrainian officials have blamed Russian hackers.

The Viasat attack, coming just as Russia was launching its invasion, was considered at the time by many a harbinger of a wave of serious cyberattacks extending beyond Ukraine. But, so far, those attacks haven’t materialized, though security researchers say the most impactful war-related cyber operations are likely occurring in the shadows. A free-for-all of lesser attacks, many apparently carried out by volunteers, have been carried out.

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