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Cyber security: negative energy

With the utilities sector becoming increasingly dependent on broadband technology, Philip Mason talks to industry and cybersecurity experts about how to manage the industry’s ever-increasing ‘attack surface’.

Photo credit: Adobe Stock

During its ongoing invasion of Ukraine, the Russian state has deployed numerous different tactics to try to drive its western neighbour into submission.

This has obviously included the military invasion itself, and the cruelty and loss of life associated with it. There has also been a concerted effort on the part of the Russian regime to disable Ukrainian critical national infrastructure, for instance via physical attacks on power facilities across the country.

One other, perhaps lesser known, strategy, however, has been the use of cyberattacks, which likewise have been utilised in an attempt to sow disruption. The earliest of these in relation to the present conflict were known to have occurred at the beginning of 2022, when multiple Ukraine government and banking websites were taken down by a hostile actor.

While Russian cyber activity has been primarily centred on Ukraine itself, however, the latter’s western allies have also been targeted. For instance, the UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) reported that Russia was “almost certainly” responsible for an attack on satellite internet company Viasat, again, towards the beginning
of 2022.

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