Ukraine warns UK could be target for Russian cyberattacks

Defense sources have warned that the UK is a target for Russian cyberattacks, using tactics that have been used to attack Ukrainian infrastructure. Since the annexation of Crimea in 2014, Moscow has used cyber warfare to infiltrate targets, such as the Ukrainian power grid and railway network.

Before the invasion last year, banking and government services were hit by Russian cyber criminals in an attempt to enable Putin’s troops to cross the border.

Ukrainian officials visited London this week to share information about Russian tactics and advise the British Government on cybersecurity, reported The Times.

Top Ukrainian cyber official Viktor Zhora says the Kremlin has used hackers to enter critical infrastructure in the country, which could be done in the UK.

He said: “Russia has targeted different parts of the Ukrainian economy — transportation, critical infrastructure, media, financial institutions — to bring as much impact as they can.

“Russia has highly professional military hackers who have served in the intelligence services for a long time. The UK should be aware of these potential evolving threats from Russia.”

Foreign secretary James Cleverly revealed last year that the Government has employed experts to foil Russian cyberattacks since the war began as part of a £6.35 million support package.

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Tom Tugendhat, the security minister, said: “Their fight against Russian barbarism goes beyond the battlefield and the terror being inflicted on civilian populations.”

In 2020, a Russian hacking collective known as APT29 was found to be behind cyberattacks targeting drug companies and research groups involved in the development of the coronavirus vaccine.

The following year, the British and American governments publicly blamed the Russian foreign intelligence agency SVR for the SolarWinds attacks, when hackers stole national security information from US government agencies.

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