Ukraine Satellite Internet Service Hit by Cyber Attack, Intelligence Agencies Investigating

A cyber attack that disrupted international satellite internet and TV provider Viasat is being investigated by French, United States and Ukrainian intelligence services as a potential action by Russian hackers.

The service interruption began on the morning of February 24 as Russian forces began direct assaults on several Ukrainian cities. The full impact of the disruption is not yet known, but at minimum satellite internet service was cut off for tens of thousands of customers throughout Europe. The attack targeted modems meant to link the satellite internet service to customers in Ukraine and other countries.

Satellite internet service temporarily disrupted in Ukraine, hacking activity confirmed

Ukrainian intelligence is probing the cyber attack along with analysts from the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and the French cybersecurity organization ANSSI. Hacking and sabotage of the satellite internet service have been confirmed, but there has yet to be any public attribution to Russia (or ally Belarus, which has also been linked to cyber attacks during the Ukraine war).

The cyber attack disabled the modems of customers interfacing with the Viasat KA-SAT satellite for their internet service. The US is involved as Viasat is based in the country and works as a defense contractor for the American government in addition to providing retail services, and has also contracted with the Ukrainian police and military. Some of the service has been restored, but service to some Viasat customers remains offline at this time.

Given that Viasat is known to provide satellite internet services to Ukraine’s military, the cyber attack may have been an attempt to disrupt communications between “smart weapons” systems deployed throughout the country. However, it is not known if there was a disruption to anything but the modems of retail customers at this time. It appears that customers in Germany, France, Hungary, Greece, Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia also experienced interruptions to satellite internet service thought to be connected to the incident.

The one thing that is certain about this cyber attack is that Russia will either continue to…