Ukraine: Civil defence sirens are going off in Donetsk
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A cyberwar expert warned that the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence agency, could unleash havoc on “every network” in Ukraine, including shutting off its electricity. It comes after Ukraine accused Russia of launching a cyber-attack that targeted two banks and its defence ministry on Wednesday. James Lewis, from the Centre for Strategic and International Studies: “The Russians are the best in the world in this type of warfare and they have the advantage that they built all the networks and utilities in Ukraine.
“They know the country inside out.
“The really effective stuff is held in reserve by GRU. We haven’t yet seen a serious effort at cyberwarfare against Ukraine. If they wanted they could turn off the country’s electrical power, disrupt every network and cause havoc.”
This also comes after a cyberattack was launched on the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
The attack was described as a “serious security incident”.
Dan O’Dowd, a cyber security expert and CEO of Green Hills Software, told Express.co.uk that it was “certainly possible” that it was a Russian attack.
This comes as the West has been facing off with Russia over its build-up of around 150,000 troops at the border with Ukraine.
Now, there are fears that more cyber-attacks could precede a military attack.
The Times reports that a US administration cyber expert is in Europe right now giving NATO advice on how to prepare for a widespread attack in Ukraine.
According to reports. cyberattacks have been launched before all Russian military operations that have happened over the last two decades.
Mr Lewis said: “It’s called pre-conflict shaping.
“The fact that they haven’t done it so far is, if you like, an optimistic sign, but they could do it in minutes.
“If they are going to invade then they will launch cyberattacks to disrupt Ukraine’s whole critical infrastructure because the doctrine calls for it.”
But Mr O’Dowd warned that Russia could do the same thing to the UK.
He said: “We have connected up the power grid to the Internet.
“All this data is collected about all the different sources of power and all the different users and it goes to some giant computer somewhere and optimises the system.
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“But the problem is you put it on the Internet and how did you connect it to the internet? You probably downloaded software off the Internet that gives you Internet connectivity.
“But that software has tonnes of bugs in it. You can just go to hackers that and say that ‘I need to be able to hack this system’ and they would just do it.”
Mr O’Dowd warned that if cyber attackers were to get onto the system and get control of power stations, it would spell “total catastrophe”.
He added: “If you hack the power plant you could turn off the power and that would be bad.
“But what you can do when you gain control of a power plant is turn the generator past the red line. if you go past that point it would eventually meltdown..it will break.
“In the UK if you destroyed all the power plants what would happen? You would have no phone, you would have no internet..petrol stations wouldn’t work, you would just be stuck.”
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