Source: Hindustan Times

‘Cyberattack’ results in knocking thousands offline in Europe
Cyberattacks during the Russia-Ukraine crisis results in massive outage

Thousands go offline after Cyberattack in Europe
Source: The Economic Times

Internet users, thousands in number in Europe, were reportedly thrown offline in the past couple of weeks. Sources mentioned in the report that the occurrence of this could likely be a cyberattack.The cyberattack is suspected to be originated at the initialisation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine from February 24.

About 9,000 subscribers, according to a report, of a satellite service were affected. This internet service is provided by one of its subsidiaries, Nordnet in France, and its users are currently without internet. Apparently, this followed right after a “cyber event” at the beginning of the invasion, at Viasat. Viasat is a US satellite provided of which Nordnet is a client.

The parent company of this ‘bigblu’ satellite internet service, Eutelsat, gave its statement to a reporter on Friday. In the statement, they confirmed that about 33% of the 40,000 subscribers of bigblu in Europe were affected. The effect was mainly in the countries of Greece, Germany, Hungary, France, Poland and Italy, where the outage of Viasat had made an impact.

Viasat, in the United States, confirmed on Wednesday March 2, that a “cyber event” had resulted in this “partial network outage.” They pointed out that it had occurred for customers within “Ukraine and elsewhere in Europe,” relying on their KA-SAT satellite. The network provider did not give in any other details on the situation, adding that concerned authorities had been notified who were aiding in investigations. 

The Head of France’s Space Command, General Michel Friedling reported the occurrence of the cyberattack, in reference to a “civilian” network- Viasat.

“For several days, shortly after the start of operations, we have had a satellite network that covers Europe and Ukraine in particular, which was the victim of a cyberattack, with tens of thousands of terminals that were rendered inoperative immediately after the attack.”

Cyber and Military specialists expressed their fear about the conflict between Russia and Ukraine leading to an outbreak of a series of cyberattacks. This “cyber Armageddon” that would entail major repercussions for civilians in Russian and Ukraine, along with a global effect in many sectors. A catastrophe has been so far avoided as the attacks evidently appeared to be limited in their impact and geographical scope.

Cybersecurity firms have observed such attacks in Ukraine that employ date-destroying virus, which appears new and unseen. The real impacts of this virus is still unknown to these companies who have been observing the attacks. On other hand, institutional websites in Russia appeared inaccessible from abroad. This was done in order to protect them from DOS (denial of service) attacks that frequently got them to be inoperable.