ZB

Russian cyberattacks could have 'globally cascading effects'

Author
John Weekes, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 15 May 2022, 3:39pm
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrives for his meeting with US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi earlier this month in Kyiv. Photo / Ukrainian Presidential Press Office
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrives for his meeting with US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi earlier this month in Kyiv. Photo / Ukrainian Presidential Press Office

Russian cyberattacks could have 'globally cascading effects'

Author
John Weekes, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 15 May 2022, 3:39pm

Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta has condemned Russia for cyberattacks on Ukraine, and the Five Eyes powers have warned the spiteful cyber activity could intensify. 

"President Putin's illegal invasion of Ukraine and sponsorship of an ongoing campaign of disinformation and malicious cyber activity against Ukraine is unacceptable," Mahuta said today. 

The European Union and New Zealand's Five Eyes partners have blamed Russia for deploying destructive malware on Ukrainian government and private sector networks. 

The Western countries said Russia was behind distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks which disabled some Ukrainian banking systems. 

And Russia was also accused of an attack in late February on commercially-operated satellite systems which disrupted communications and internet services across Europe. 

New Zealand signals intelligence agency the GCSB has become involved, joining Australian, British, Canadian, and US cybersecurity authorities to issue new guidance. 

The guidance is for managed service providers (MSPs), such as companies remotely managing customer technology infrastructure. 

"Whether the customer's network environment is on premises or externally hosted, threat actors can use a vulnerable MSP as an initial access vector to multiple victim networks, with globally cascading effects," the new joint advisory said. 

A Ukrainian soldier carries an unexploded Russian air bomb in the village of Kolonshchyna, Ukraine. Photo / Efrem Lukatsky)

A Ukrainian soldier carries an unexploded Russian air bomb in the village of Kolonshchyna, Ukraine. Photo / Efrem Lukatsky) 

"This further rebuke of Russia's despicable actions comes on the back of additional sanctions we've introduced that specifically target Russian disinformation and malicious cyber activity," Mahuta added. 

The move came two days after Mahuta said a "troll farm" linked to Putin's regime would be targeted in a move against Russian misinformation and cyberattacks. 

She said existing sanctions had already targeted individuals linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin's regime, including propaganda producers. 

In March, more than 100 people, including Russian and Belarusian military leaders and corporate executives, were banned from travelling to New Zealand. 

And in April, three dozen oligarchs linked to the regime were targeted with travel bans and asset freezes.