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EU and NATO condemn cyberattacks against Ukraine

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Following this morning’s (14 January) cyber attack on Ukraine the EU High Representative Josep Borrell has issued a statement strongly condemning the attempt to destabilize Ukraine and spread disinformation.

The attacks come at the end of a week of more in-depth talks between the US and Russia (Geneva, 10 January) and NATO with Russia (12 January), with little sign of any will on Russia’s part to reduce its aggression towards Ukraine. It is feared that the latest attacks could further escalate what is already a very tense situation, with a huge military build-up of Russian troops around Ukraine.

Borrell said that Ukraine had reacted quickly and decisively to the attacks thanks to its increased cyber resilience: “We reconfirm our unequivocal support to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders”. The statement says that the European Union and its member states are in contact with Ukraine and stand ready to provide additional, direct, technical assistance to remediate this attack and further support Ukraine against any destabilizing actions, including by further building up its resilience against hybrid and cyber threats.

The attack is thought to have impacted at least eight Ukrainian government websites.

Ukraine Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko, tweeted this morning at 7:47 that there had been a massive cyber attack on a number of government agencies, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

As a result of a massive cyber attack, the websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a number of other government agencies are temporarily down. Our specialists have already started restoring the work of IT systems, and the cyberpolice has opened an investigation.

— Oleg Nikolenko (@OlegNikolenko_) January 14, 2022

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also issued a statement condemning the attacks, saying that NATO’s strong political and practical support for Ukraine will continue.

I strongly condemn the cyber attacks on the Ukrainian Government. #NATO has worked closely with #Ukraine for years to help boost its cyber defences. NATO & Ukraine will step up cyber cooperation & we will continue our strong political & practical support.https://t.co/19DPZQgA38

— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) January 14, 2022

NATO has been exchanging information with Ukrainian counterparts on the current malicious cyber activities. Ukrainian authorities are also receiving expert assistance from allies on the ground. Stoltenberg announced that in the coming days, NATO and Ukraine will sign an agreement on enhanced cyber cooperation, including Ukrainian access to NATO’s malware information sharing platform.

US warns of false flag events

US Department of Defence spokesman John Kirby says the US govt has information that Russian operatives in eastern Ukraine are planning a "false flag" operation to justify an invasion: "We have information [Russia] has pre-positioned a group of operatives to conduct what we call a false flag operation…An operation designed to look like an attack on...Russian speaking people in Ukraine, again as an excuse to go in.”

.@PentagonPresSec discusses Russia-Ukraine tensions with reporters. This comes as U.S. intelligence revealed Russia is planning a false-flag operation in order to invade Ukraine.

Full video here: https://t.co/n7m6un4fN3 pic.twitter.com/ieP3BxnUlT

— CSPAN (@cspan) January 14, 2022
 
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