EU, UK blame Russia for Ukraine satellite hack

The EU and the U.K. on Tuesday slammed the Russian government for an “unacceptable” cyberattack on satellite communications provider Viasat in February that brought down Ukrainian networks.

The attack happened just an hour before Moscow started its invasion of Ukraine, the EU said in a statement, adding it was “yet another example of Russia’s continued pattern of irresponsible behaviour in cyberspace, which also formed an integral part of its illegal and unjustified invasion of Ukraine.”

The bloc is “considering further steps to prevent, discourage, deter and respond to such malicious behaviour,” it said. Countries can agree to slap sanctions on cyberattackers, and the EU has previously done so with the Russian intelligence services that were behind some of the most devastating cyberattacks in the past years.

“The European Union will continue to provide coordinated political, financial and material support to Ukraine to strengthen its cyber resilience,” it added in the statement.

U.K. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the cyberattack was a “deliberate and malicious attack by Russia against Ukraine.”