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Russia Was Behind Cyberattack in Run-Up to Ukraine War, Investigation Finds


Investigators said the Russian military intelligence agency took satellite communications in Ukraine offline. The attack came before the Feb. 24 invasion launched by President Vladimir V. Putin.

Credit: Kirill Kudryavtsev/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

A cyberattack that took down satellite communications in Ukraine in the hours before the Feb. 24 invasion was the work of the Russian government, the United States and European nations declared on Tuesday, officially fixing the blame for an attack that rattled Pentagon officials and private industry because it revealed new vulnerabilities in global communications systems.

In a coordinated set of statements, the governments blamed Moscow but did not explicitly name the organization that conducted the sophisticated effort to black out Ukrainian communications. But American officials, speaking on condition of anonymity about the specifics of the findings, said that it was the Russian military intelligence agency, the G.R.U. — the same group responsible for the 2016 hack of the Democratic National Committee and a range of attacks on the U.S. and Ukraine.

"This unacceptable cyberattack is yet another example of Russia's continued pattern of irresponsible behavior in cyberspace, which also formed an integral part of its illegal and unjustified invasion of Ukraine," Josep Borrell Fontelles, the European Union's top diplomat, said in a statement. "Cyberattacks targeting Ukraine, including against critical infrastructure, could spill over into other countries and cause systemic effects putting the security of Europe's citizens at risk."

From The New York Times
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