A “cyber-event” on the day of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia caused a breakdown on Viasat, an American satellite operator of which Orange, in particular, is a customer via a subsidiary.
Thousands of Internet users are deprived of the Internet in France and Europe due to a probable cyber-attack on a satellite network, which occurred at the start of the Russian offensive in Ukraine. According to Orange, “nearly 9,000 subscribers” to a satellite Internet service from its subsidiary Nordnet, in France, are deprived of the Internet following a “cyber-event” which occurred on February 24 within Viasat, an American satellite operator of which he is the customer.
Eutelsat, the parent company of the bigblu satellite internet service, also confirmed to AFP on Friday evening that around a third of the 40,000 bigblu subscribers in Europe (Germany, France, Hungary, Greece, Italy, Poland) were affected. by the breakdown on Viasat. In the United States, Viasat said on Wednesday that a “cyber event” had caused “a partial network outage” for customers “in Ukraine and elsewhere” in Europe dependent on its KA-SAT satellite. Viasat gave no further details, confining itself to indicating that “the police and state partners” had been notified and “were assisting” with the investigations
Commercial satellite operator Viasat is investigating a suspected cyberattack that caused a partial outage of its KA-SAT network in Europe. Network data indicate that the incident began on 24 February ~4 a.m. UTC and is currently ongoing
Fear of “splash”
While the euphemism “cyber-event” left little doubt that it was a cyber-attack, the fact was confirmed on Thursday by General Michel Frieling, who heads the French Space Command.
“For a few days, shortly after the start of operations, we have had a satellite network which covers Europe in particular and in particular Ukraine which was the victim of a cyberattack, with tens of thousands of terminals which have been returned inoperative immediately after this attack”, he indicated during a press briefing organized by the Ministry of Defence, specifying that he was talking about “a civilian network, Viasat”.
Military and cyber specialists fear that the Russian-Ukrainian conflict will give rise to an outbreak of cyber-attacks, a “cyber-Armageddon” with significant consequences for civilians in Ukraine and Russia, but also in the rest of the world, for example. spillover or “splash” effect, to use the term recently used by a French military official.
For now, the worst-case scenario seems to have been avoided, with the observed attacks appearing contained in their effects and geographic scale.
Sites also blocked in Russia
Cybersecurity companies have observed attacks in Ukraine with a new data-destroying virus, the real effects of which are little known. In Russia, institutional sites have been made inaccessible from abroad, to protect them from denial of service (DOS) attacks that regularly render them inoperative.