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UK blames Russia for satellite internet hack at start of war

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Russia was behind a cyber-attack targeting American commercial satellite internet company Viasat, UK and US intelligence suggests.

The attack began about an hour before Russia invaded Ukraine, on 24 February.

It caused outages for several thousand Ukrainian customers – and affected windfarms and internet users in Central Europe.

Officials have long believed Russia was to blame but lacked the evidence to say so publicly.

Viasat provides high-speed satellite broadband to commercial and military customers.

The company has previously said “tens of thousands of terminals” were damaged beyond repair, in the cyber-attack, though its core network infrastructure and the satellite itself remained unscathed.

Now, a joint announcement by the EU, UK, US and other allies confirms long-held suspicions the primary target was the Ukrainian military.

And the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre said it was “almost certain” Russia was behind the attack.

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