Putin threatening ‘high-risk cyber attacks’ says expert
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For Russian President Vladimir Putin, the invasion of Ukraine is going far worse than expected, with Ukraine’s president claiming that an estimated 20,000 Russian soldiers have been killed in the conflict. As Russia deals with losses in the war and economic hits from Western sanctions, experts have warned that Putin is already trying to retaliate with a series of cyberattacks aimed at institutions across the EU and the UK.
Aside from usual targets, which include the NHS, banking services, and major companies, an expert has warned that Putin may target companies that deal with “risky materials”, potentially leading to devastating consequences.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Reuven Aronashvili, CEO and Co-Founder of cybersecurity firm CYE, said Europe is currently under attack not only from cyber hackers that work directly under Putin but also “cyber security gangs that are standing with Russia”.
He added: “There are some multinational organisations that were targetted and attacked and we’ve seen the impact on the production capabilities of specific let’s say ‘risky materials’ that could be wasted.”
However, he then clarified that in most cases, the worst impact that these companies see is a “denial of services or business continuity” or even having their private data leaked to the dark web.
According to Mr Aronashvili, preparation from major companies is a major reason why some of the worst impacts have not happened yet.
In the UK, British intelligence agency GCHQ has warned firms the time is right to “bolster their online defences” as tension mounts over the invasion of Ukraine.
He Aronashvili added: “I can tell you that the banking environment is targeted and has received a number of attack attempts of a more than 100 percent increase.
“Not all are successful, but the attacks have gone up significantly.”
He then noted that Russian hackers may target European energy companies, which is particularly significant as the continent looks to increase its energy security and end its reliance on Russian gas.
He continued: “In energy environments, they are able to halt the production of energy and distribution.
“Whether its gas turbines, steam turbines, wind turbines, even nuclear facilities in some cases, they are able to shut operations down.”
He then added that in some of the worst case scenarios “which we haven’t seen till now”, Putin’s attacks could even cause safety issues.
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“Think about a nuclear facility that is being attacked, and they are able to cause significant damage to the core of the nuclear environment, then the dangers and the impact would be untold.
“If you break some kind of centrifuge or core of the engine then you have radioactive materials being continuously emitted to specific environments and there is no way to deal with it, like you see in Fukushima or other places in the world.
“If you do that, that’s an act of war that’s so significant that it will have significant consequences as well.”
The GHCQ warned UK businesses to safeguard itself
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