The UK, US and EU have officially accused Russia of being behind a cyberattack on a satellite communications network used in Ukraine.
Businesses and individuals using routers from Viasat, an American business that provides broadband-speed satellite internet connections, were kicked out just before the tanks started rolling into the country.
“The cyberattack took place one hour before Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, thus facilitating military aggression,” the EU said in the statement. mine.
“Although the primary target is believed to be the Ukrainian military, other customers have been affected, including both personal and commercial Internet users,” the Foreign Office added.
As a result of the attack, 5,800 wind turbines in Germany were knocked down because they depended on Viasat routers for monitoring and remote control.
The company says a total of tens of thousands of its terminals have been effectively destroyed and need to be replaced.
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said: “This is clear and shocking evidence that a willful and malicious Russian attack on Ukraine has had significant consequences for people and businesses in Ukraine. Ukraine as well as throughout Europe.
“We will continue to condemn Russia’s malign behavior and unprovoked aggression on land, at sea and in cyberspace, and ensure it faces serious consequences.”
Earlier, Viasat announced that it was “working closely” with its wholesale distributors to get customers back online.
“Due to the wholesale nature of its business, Viasat typically does not deal directly with end users. Instead, distributors work directly with end customers and can identify those affected. to provide service recovery assistance.”
The company says that new modems are being offered as the most effective way to restore service.
Viasat adds: “Viasat has shipped tens of thousands of replacement modems to distributors and is ready to ship additional modems if needed.
In the EU statement, the attack was described as “another example of Russia’s continued irresponsible behavior in cyberspace, which is also an integral part of its illegal and illegitimate invasion of Ukraine.” physical”.
“Such behavior goes against the expectations of all UN member states, including the Russian Federation, regarding responsible state behavior and the intentions of states in cyberspace.” .
“Russia must end this war and end the senseless human suffering immediately,” the EU added.