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Cyber ‘spillover’ from Ukraine looms in the Baltics – POLITICO

Officials on Tuesday warned that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine poses a threat to neighboring EU countries from cyberattacks or disinformation.

“The Baltic states are for Russia the easiest way of putting pressure on NATO and the EU. This is where we need to pay close attention,” said Bart Groothuis (Liberal member of the European Parliament, former cybersecurity official at Dutch Ministry of Defense).

Groothuis is leading an delegation of European Parliament subcommittee members on defense and security to Estonia on Tuesday, and Lithuania on Wednesday. He said it was a “showof solidarity” with Ukraine.

These two Baltic countries are already participating in a cyber defense operation to assist Ukraine through the EU’s Cyber Rapid Response Team. It was activated Tuesday.

Cyberattacks on European soil pose two threats: First, attacks on Ukrainian networks could spread across Europe. Russia could also launch direct attacks on European targets using its intelligence services and cybercriminal groups in order to disrupt the West’s response to the Ukraine crisis.

In the past, cyberattacks on Ukraine affected Europe. Hackers spread malware known as NotPetya via a piece of Ukrainian software in 2017, triggering a cyber crisis worldwide. The most devastating cyberattack in human history. Later, Western security services attributed the attack on Russia to Russia’s military Intelligence Agency GRU.

Jaak Tarien is the director of the Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence. This NATO-accredited cyber defense center, based in Tallinn and providing cybersecurity advice to the defense alliance members, said that “there is always a risk of a leakover” like NotPetya.

Tarien stated that “it’s the only internet we’re using”, pointing to the connection Europe’s tech networks have to Ukraine.

Groothuis stated that organizations with Ukrainian suppliers and subsidiaries are advised to examine how cyberattacks in Ukraine could pose a risk to wider networks.

Recent warnings from European cybersecurity agencies have been repeated by the private and public sectors in recent weeks about cyberattacks at home.

That threat of major cyberattacks increased further on Tuesday as Europe responded with sanctions to Russia’s decision to recognize two breakaway Ukrainian regions as independent and deploy troops there.

Russian President Vladimir Putin could launch cyber attacks against the West. Tarien said that Putin sees it as a low-hanging tree to respond to sanctions or to some Western behavior he does not like.

The European Union’s cybersecurity agency ENISA and its in-house cyber response team CERT-EU last week released a Joint warning saying they had “reported a substantial increase of cybersecurity threats for both private and public organisations across the EU.” The U.S.’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency this month It is advisedPrepare your organization for cyberattacks. Warning As did at the end January The Netherlands and others.

In the past, Russian-backed hacking groups targeted public and private institutions, often targeting Baltic countries. After it began inflicting phishing emails on the Baltic countries, and then started disinformation campaigns, the EU blamed “Ghostwriter” for its success. It then went on to attack German and Polish politicians. Estonia and Lithuania are vocal advocates for a tougher response in Europe to Russian cyber aggression.

Officials from the Baltics are on high alert for Russian aggression as the conflict in Ukraine escalates.

Last week, Lithuania’s Ministry of Defense was established Alarm has been raisedIt stated that it was expecting serious cyberattacks against the country’s public authorities.

“We see that cyber-attacks are increasing in frequency as security conditions deteriorate.” We’re working on a higher alert level,” said Margiris Abukevičius, vice minister at the Ministry of National Defense in Lithuania.

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