EU and UK Blame Russia for Hack That Disrupted Viasat’s Satellite Internet

UPDATE: The White House is also blaming the Kremlin for the hack on Viasat. “The United States is joining with allies and partners to condemn Russia’s destructive cyber activities against Ukraine,” the US State Department said in a statement.

Original Story: The European Union and UK are officially blaming the Russian government for the Feb. 24 hack that targeted satellite internet provider Viasat. 

On Tuesday, both the EU and UK condemned the Kremlin for the cyberattack, which caused internet outages for thousands of Viasat customers across Europe. 

In response, the EU is mulling whether to punish Russia. “The European Union, working closely with its partners, is considering further steps to prevent, discourage, deter and respond to such malicious behavior in cyberspace,” the governing body said. 

The hack occurred an hour before Russia began its invasion of Ukraine, according to the UK. The goal was to shut down satellite internet access for Ukraine’s military. However, the hack also ensnared consumer and commercial customers, including wind farm operators in Europe.  

The EU didn’t elaborate on the evidence linking Russia to the hack on Viasat. But the UK cited an analysis from its National Cyber Security Centre, which found that it was “almost certain Russia was responsible.” The US also contributed intelligence suggesting the Kremlin was behind the attack, the UK added.

Security researchers have uncovered the malware likely responsible for causing the disruption at Viasat. Dubbed AcidRain, it’s designed to erase data from modems and routers, and has similarities with another malware strain that’s been connected to Russian state-sponsored hackers, according to the security firm SentinelOne. 

In the meantime, the EU is concerned the continent could suffer a similar incident in the future, citing how Russia continues to bombard Ukraine with destructive malware attacks. 

“​​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,” the EU said. 

Viasat didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. But the US…