Internet users almost thousands of them across Europe have been knocked offline as a result of a possible cyberattack at the start of Russia’s operation in Ukraine, according to sources.
As per Orange, “nearly 9,000 subscribers” of a satellite Internet Service Provider (ISP) which is provided by its subsidiary Nordnet in France are offline without internet connection following a “cyber event” on February 24 at Viasat, a US satellite operator of which it is a client.
The outage on Viasat affected almost one-third of bigblu’s 40,000 users throughout Europe, including Germany, France, Hungary, Greece, Italy, and Poland, according to Eutelsat, the parent company of bigblu satellite internet service.
Viasat, based in the United States, said that a “cyber event” had resulted in a “partial network outage” for customers using its KA-SAT satellite “in Ukraine and elsewhere” in Europe.
Viasat provided no other information, merely stating that “police and state partners” had been alerted and were “assisting” with the investigations.
There had been a cyberattack, according to General Michel Friedling, the head of France’s Space Command.
“For several days, shortly after the start of operations, we have had a satellite network that covers Europe and Ukraine in particular, which was the victim of a cyberattack, with tens of thousands of terminals that were rendered inoperative immediately after the attack,” he said, adding that he was talking about a civilian network — Viasat.
Military and cyber experts fear that the Russian-Ukrainian conflict would erupt in cyberattacks, resulting in a “cyber Armageddon” with serious consequences for civilians in Ukraine and Russia, as well as the rest of the world, due to a spillover effect.
However, a worst-case situation appears to have been avoided thus far, as the attacks observed appear to be limited in impact and geographical scope.
Cybersecurity firms have observed cyberattacks in Ukraine that use a new data-destroying virus, the full extent of which is unknown.
Institutional websites in Russia were made inaccessible from outside the country to protect them from Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, which rendered them inoperable on a regular basis.