Russia is waging a hybrid war and, at the same time as the military invasion, has attacked Viasat’s KA-SAT satellite network, decommissioning and destroying tens of thousands of modems. The aim was to limit the communication possibilities of the Ukrainian side. The details are not publicly known, but it is clear from the available contracts that KA-SAT was used by Ukrainian military and police units. KA-SAT is just one of many targets, but it remains the most visible and serious cyber attack of the ongoing war.
- Commentators and journalists were very clear about the perpetrators of the attack.
- Later, security companies were added to accurately describe the anatomy of the attack.
- The European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Estonia have also come to the culprit.
Why now, after two months? In terms of diplomatic relations, this is a serious allegation that had to be preceded by a thorough investigation. The Russian side routinely denies such allegations.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the cyber attack was aimed at him “Disrupt Ukrainian command and control during the invasion, and these actions had implications for other European countries.” Blinken is facing the loss of control of almost 6,000 German wind farms and thousands of other customers across Europe.
Most of the damaged modems had to be replaced with new ones. “After these modems were taken out of service, it wasn’t like you unplugged them, reconnected them, restarted them, and they jumped in. The attack was tough, the modems had to go back to the factory for exchange. ” he said Reuters Rob Joyce, director of cyber security at the US National Security Agency.
The Ukrainian side has previously said that the attack on KA-SAT meant a major loss of communication in the early stages of the war. On this point (already outside the official statement), the commentators emphasize the importance of the Starlink shipment to Ukraine. Initially, the public perceived it as a “nice charity aid” to Elon Musk based on a twitter communication with Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov. Then it turned out that the event was co-financed by the US government.
Until today, indications suggest that the action was initiated by the US government in collaboration with the Ukrainian government with a clear goal to ensure 1) communication of key Ukrainian sites and 2) the function of a sophisticated Ukrainian military missile guidance system – previously ran on KA-SAT, which Russia was able to take down, today is running on Starlink, which Russia has not yet been able to threaten. See for details this very long and very interesting thread on Twitter.