UK, EU, US formally blame Russia for Viasat satellite hack before Ukraine invasion
by GG44bb - Friday May 13, 2022 at 12:47 AM
The European Union, the United Kingdom and the U.S. government formally blamed the Russian government for the Feb. 24 hack of satellite modems in Europe in the hours before the invasion of Ukraine.

The formal attribution came in coordinated statements Tuesday from the U.K.’s National Cyber Security Centre and the Council of the European Union. The British statement — which cites “new UK and US intelligence” — noted that the Viasat hack was just one of several cyberattacks the Russian government launched prior to the invasion of Ukraine, including the Jan. 13 defacement of Ukrainian websites and the deployment of destructive malware researchers later dubbed Whispergate.

Later Tuesday morning U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in a statement that the U.S. was also “sharing publicly its assessment that Russia launched cyber attacks in late February against commercial satellite communications networks to disrupt Ukrainian command and control during the invasion, and those actions had spillover impacts into other European countries.”

The governments of Canada and Australia also issued statements Tuesday blaming the Russian government for the Viasat hack. The government of New Zealand issued a statement Tuesday announcing sanctions “targeting disinformation and those responsible for cyber attacks on Ukraine,” without specifically mentioning Viasat.

Anonymous U.S. officials told the Washington Post on March 24 that Russian military hackers were behind the attack, but until Tuesday the U.S. government had not participated in any formal attribution.

Ukrainian government officials have long blamed the Russian government for the Viasat hack, which targeted modems and the satellite network operated by Viasat, a California-based communications firm.
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