Amid Russia-Ukraine crisis, European countries hit by major "cyberattack": Report
European countries are facing a possible cyberattack as thousands of internet users were knocked offline at the start of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, NDTV reported on Saturday. The report said that following a "cyber incident" on February 24 at Viasat, a US satellite operator, roughly 9,000 users of a satellite internet service supplied by its subsidiary Nordnet in France are without internet.
Why does this story matter?
Military and cyber experts worry that the Russian-Ukrainian war may erupt in cyber strikes. They are apprehensive that it will result in a "cyber Armageddon" with devastating effects for people in Ukraine, Russia, and the rest of the world, Mint report. Cyber security firms have detected attacks in Ukraine that use a new data-destroying virus, the full extent of which is unknown.
Eutelsat's 40,000 subscribers in Europe affected
Eutelsat, the parent company of bigblu satellite internet service, also confirmed the outage. It said that around one-third of bigblu's 40,000 subscribers in Germany, France, Hungary, Greece, Italy, and Poland were affected by the outage on Viasat. The "cyber incident" was also detected in the US for the customers using Viasat's KA-SAT satellite "in Ukraine and elsewhere", Free Press Journal reported.
5,800 wind turbines affected across Germany, central Europe
The outages also took out 5,800 wind turbines with a total output of 11 gigawatts across Germany and central Europe, soon after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. "Remote monitoring and control of thousands of wind power converters is only possible to a limited extent due to a massive disruption of the satellite connection in Europe," HT quoted the manufacturer Enercon as saying.
Outages happened due to cyberattack: Officials
"It was conceivable that the outages were the consequence of a cyberattack," German daily Handelsblatt quoted Germany's Federal Office for Information Security as saying. General Michel Friedling, head of France's Space Command, also confirmed that the attack rendered tens of thousands of terminals inoperative.
European Union mobilizing resources to aid Ukraine after cyberattack
Facebook, Twitter blocked in Russia
Meanwhile, Russia has blocked social networking site Facebook in the country, claiming that the platform restricts access to Russian media. According to several news reports, Twitter and YouTube have also been blocked throughout the nation. In addition, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill into law that threatens up to 15 years in prison for propagating "fake news."Share this timeline