NSA investigates Viasat hack linked to invasion of Ukraine

The US National Security Agency is investigating a hack allegedly targeting Viasat that disrupted Internet access in Ukraine as Russian forces prepared to invade the country.

Viasat told CNBC on February 28 that it was “experiencing a partial network outage” that is said to be “affecting Internet service for fixed broadband customers in Ukraine and elsewhere on our European Ka-Sat network”. ” The outage began on February 24 – the day Russia invaded Ukraine.

Reuters now reports that the NSA is collaborating with ANSSI and Ukrainian intelligence to determine whether “remote sabotage of a satellite Internet provider’s service is a Russian-state-backed battlefield preparation by attempting to sabotage communications.” It was the work of hackers.”

Viasat told Reuters the outage affected satellite modems owned by thousands of customers in Europe. Reportedly, some of those modems are still offline at the time of writing, and bringing them back online is going to be a fairly involved process.

Reuters reports that a Viasat official said “most of the affected equipment will need to be reprogrammed by a technician on site or at a repair depot and some will have to be swapped out.” Russia’s ongoing attacks on Ukraine will likely complicate that process.

Meanwhile, Ukraine has turned to services such as Starlink to stay online, although SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has warned that Russia could attack its satellite Internet service as well, so it could cut Ukraine’s connections to the outside world. because it seeks international aid in this conflict. ,

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