Russia Attacks Ukraine’s Telecommunications Systems

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Following the news that Ukrainian authorities say they’ve thwarted a huge cyberattack on their telecommunications systems and are blaming Russia for the assault, please see below comments from Security experts.

Moreno Carullo, Co-founder and CTO at Nozomi Networks:

“The attacks on Ukraine’s telecommunications systems highlight that attackers are once again relying on phishing as a means to target critical infrastructure. It is therefore extremely important that staff within critical infrastructure organisations are taught to recognise phishing emails and not to click on links or open attachments from unknown sources.

Phishing is one of the major attack vectors cybercriminals will use to target critical infrastructure, and this was demonstrated in our recent study around GreyEnergy – another piece of malware which was targeting critical infrastructure in Ukraine via phishing.

Today’s determined attackers are showing no signs of slowing down, so teaching staff to ‘think before they click’ is key to defending against these types of attacks.”

Sam Curry, Chief Security Officer at Cybereason:

“Russia is at a geopolitical crossroads between empire and obsolescence. One future has Russia being a minor, divided, ageing nation that no longer innovates or is an economic powerhouse. Another has it re-exerting regional influence and creating a new balance of power. It’s this later path that has led to election tampering, alleged assassinations, statism and adventurism. Without a change in leadership, it’s naive to expect that the Russian Bear will quiesce and retire to its cave, let alone find a third path fostering innovation, energising a people and engaging in a new peace with the West, the East and the Middle East.

“The Ukraine is just far enough out of reach for Western powers, with a carefully nurtured Russian minority and from the former buffer states that the playbook is obvious. Ukraine and any other adjacent nation in a similar position needs to be leery of attacks that soften, test, probe and seek to destabilise, because destabilisation is a heartbeat away from so-called police actions, nation building and adventurism. The world needs to pay attention to the Ukraine; it’s not a side show, but is main stage in Eastern Europe for the balance of world powers. ”

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