Western intelligence agencies are investigating a cyberattack by unknown hackers who disrupted broadband satellite Internet access in Ukraine. Analysts from the US National Security Agency, the French government cybersecurity organization ANSSI and Ukrainian intelligence are trying to find out whether the remote sabotage of satellite Internet provider services was the work of Russian hackers.
The cyberattack on the satellite service began on the morning of February 24 this year, just at the time of the outbreak of hostilities in the country.
The consequences of the cyberattack are still being investigated, but satellite modems belonging to tens of thousands of customers in Europe have been disconnected, a representative of the American telecommunications company Viasat told Reuters. Hackers have disabled modems connected to Viasat’s KA-SAT satellite, which provides Internet access to some customers in Europe, including Ukraine.
Viasat said in a statement that the failures were caused by a “deliberate, isolated, external cyber event.” Incorrect configuration in the “management section” of the satellite network allowed hackers to gain remote access to modems by disabling them. Most of the affected devices will need to be reprogrammed either by an on-site technician or by a repair shop, and some will have to be replaced.
According to a representative of Viasat, the failures did not affect government customers who purchased services directly from the company.