Ukraine suffered an almost threefold growth in cybersecurity attacks over the past year, according to Viktor Zhora, the Deputy Chairman and Chief Digital Transformation Officer at the State Service of Special Communication and Information Protection of Ukraine. Zhora's comments came while visiting London to discuss cybersecurity strategy with the UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a part of GCHQ. Tom Tugendhat, UK Security Minister, noted that there is a real fight "...against Russian barbarism goes beyond the battlefield” and terror inflicted on civilians. “There is the real and persistent threat of a Russian cyber-attack on Ukraine’s critical infrastructure.”
Paul Chichester, NCSC operations director, along with Zhora, discussed their concerns at Cyber Threat 2022, in which Chichester noted “Ukraine has defended itself resolutely in cyber space in the face of Russian aggression, and the UK has been proud to support that defense…It is fitting that, here in the UK, we are hosting senior figures involved in Ukraine’s response. We are honored to do so. This visit is an important moment in our relationship and an excellent opportunity to learn from each other as we continue to build our collective resilience.”
Zhora’s comments were part of a SSSCIP analysis, titled, ‘CYBER, ARTILLERY, PROPAGANDA. GENERAL OVERVIEW OF THE DIMENSIONS OF RUSSIAN AGGRESSION’, that revealed the following:
- Cyberattacks are entirely consistent with Russia's overall military strategy.
- Cyber-attacks are often coordinated with other attacks: conventional attacks on the battlefield and information-psychological and propaganda operations.
- There is no reason to believe that the intensity of cyber attacks will decrease - The only question is what they will focus on.
- The cyberattacks were designed to increase the chaos of a conventional invasion, reduce the country's governability, and damage critical infrastructure.
- Russia's attempts to destroy the Ukrainian energy system have demonstrated that cyber-attacks often accompany conventional attacks against critical infrastructure.
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