Russia Hacked Ukrainian Satellite Communications

Russia is believed to have hacked the US satellite communications provider Viasat on the same day as its Ukraine invasion. More than 22,000 miles above Earth, the KA-SAT is in geostationary orbit at 7,000 miles per hour. The the satellite beams high-speed Internet to users across Europe where  it has helped homeowners, businesses, and militaries get online since 2011. 

As Russian troops moved into Ukraine on  February 24, satellite Internet connections were disrupted. Numerous users were affected included some in the Ukrainian military, and the attack dramatically demonstrated the vulnerability of commercial satellite communications on which the US military increasingly relies. 

It is now believed that the Russian military spy service, the GRU, was behind a hack that affected the Ukrainian military’s communications at the start of Russia's invasion into the country. The hack affected the KA-SAT satellite broadband network, owned by Viasat, an American satellite communications company. On February 24th, the day the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, the KA-SAT network was hit by outages that affected Ukraine and surrounding regions in Europe. 

Sources say that the GRU has led in operations against Ukraine, although there have not been major cyber attacks against the West from from this source, so far.  Overall, Ukraine has proved more resilient to cyber attacks than many had expected. 

Intelligence agencies  say the attack fits closely with Russian military doctrine, in which cyber attacks are used to support specific military objectives, in this case trying to sow confusion by disrupting Ukrainian command and control. It appears to be the most significant cyber attack linked to the conflict so far, affecting military, as well as government communications. 

In the US, the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) have warned that they are "aware of possible threats to US and international satellite communication networks", and have urged providers to improve their security because of the continuing potential risks. 

One concern had been that Russia could retaliate for Western sanctions by launching cyber attacks against the West, perhaps unleashing criminal gangs who use ransomware to lock businesses and organisations out of their systems. 

The White House has warned that it has seen intelligence of possible activity, however, it is not clear yet whether this is above the normal level of Russian cyber activity that is happening all the time or whether it is an indication that Russia is preparing for something more serious.

Satellite Internet connections are often used in areas with low cable coverage and are used by everyday citizens, as well as official organisations.  The set-up is different from your typical home or office Wi-Fi network, which mostly rely on wired broadband connections. 

AirForce Magazine:    BBC:    The Verge:     Washington Post:      The Hill:    Wired:      Samachar Central:

You Might Also Read: 

SpaceX Plan For 4k Satellite Broadband Network:

 

« Mobile Cyber Attacks: The Different Facets Of Smartphone Malware
Google’s Emergency Update For Chrome »

CyberSecurity Jobsite
Perimeter 81

Directory of Suppliers

DigitalStakeout

DigitalStakeout

DigitalStakeout enables cyber security professionals to reduce cyber risk to their organization with proactive security solutions, providing immediate improvement in security posture and ROI.

Cyber Security Supplier Directory

Cyber Security Supplier Directory

Our Supplier Directory lists 6,000+ specialist cyber security service providers in 128 countries worldwide. IS YOUR ORGANISATION LISTED?

IT Governance

IT Governance

IT Governance is a leading global provider of information security solutions. Download our free guide and find out how ISO 27001 can help protect your organisation's information.

XYPRO Technology

XYPRO Technology

XYPRO is the market leader in HPE Non-Stop Security, Risk Management and Compliance.

Authentic8

Authentic8

Authentic8 transforms how organizations secure and control the use of the web with Silo, its patented cloud browser.

CERT.AZ

CERT.AZ

The national Cyber Security Center of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

AhnLab

AhnLab

AhnLab provides a range of information security solutions including network security, endpoint security, antivirus and consulting services.

Cyber Future Foundation (CFF)

Cyber Future Foundation (CFF)

CFF was established to create a cyberspace where digital commerce and innovation can thrive based on trust and respect to individual privacy.

DocAuthority

DocAuthority

DocAuthority automatically discovers and accurately identifies unprotected, sensitive documents, enabling a broad yet business-friendly security policy.

Salient CRGT

Salient CRGT

Salient CRGT is a leading provider of health, data analytics, cloud, agile software development, mobility, cyber security, and infrastructure solutions.

Learning Tree International

Learning Tree International

Learning Tree's comprehensive cyber security training curriculum includes specialised IT security training and general cyber security courses for all levels of your organisation including the C-suite.

NewGens

NewGens

NewGens is a solution and service provider to banking institutions in the APAC region. Areas of expertise include cybersecurity, AML, fruad prevention, compliance and risk management.

Vaadata

Vaadata

Vaadata are experts in ethical hacking. We secure your web, mobile and IoT platforms.

Oceania Cyber Security Centre (OCSC)

Oceania Cyber Security Centre (OCSC)

OCSC engages with government and industry to conduct research, develop training opportunities and build capacity for responding to current and emerging cyber security issues.

ACA Compliance Group

ACA Compliance Group

ACA Compliance Group (ACA) is a leading global provider of governance, risk, and compliance advisory services and technology solutions.

ThreatModeler

ThreatModeler

ThreatModeler is an automated threat modeling solution that fortifies an enterprise’s Software Development Lifecycle by identifying, predicting and defining threats.

Green House Data

Green House Data

Green House Data is a managed services provider delivering hybrid solutions to enterprises who need secure IT environments and efficient management of their critical applications and business data.

InterGuard

InterGuard

As the pioneer for Unified Insider Threat Prevention and productivity monitoring tools, InterGuard offers on premise and SaaS-based services that are easily available and affordable.

418sec

418sec

418sec prevent problematic open source code from ever entering an organisation, allowing developers and risk owners to trust the code they use.

Tetrad Digital Integrity (TDI)

Tetrad Digital Integrity (TDI)

TDI is a world-class consulting firm offering cybersecurity services to government agencies and commercial clients around the world.

Material Security

Material Security

Material is solving one of the most fundamental problems in security: protecting the data sitting in mailboxes.