Ukraine intelligence agency highlights escalation of cyber warfare

Ukraine has suffered a threefold growth in cyber-attacks over the past year, according to Viktor Zhora, one of the key figures within the country’s SSCIP cybersecurity agency.

According to Zhora, Russian hacking has sometimes been deployed in combination with missile strikes.

He said that the attacks from Russia have often taken the form of destructive, disk-erasing wiper malware, with “in some cases, cyber-attacks supportive to kinetic effects”.

Zhora’s comments came as he visited London’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a part of communications intelligence centre GCHQ.

Separately, Yurii Shchyhol, the head of SSCIP, said in an interview with Politico that there is now a need for a ‘Cyber United Nations’, where nations unite in cyberspace.

“What we really need in this situation is a hub or a venue where we can exchange information, support each other and interact,” he told the publication.

Shchyhol said that following a year of constant Russian cyberattacks on Ukrainian critical infrastructure, such as energy systems and satellite communications, there is a need for “one space, one cyberspace” shared by countries in the “civilised world.” 

“Cyberattacks will become as powerful or maybe even more powerful than the conventional attacks, and the consequences of cyberattacks are on such a big scale that we should not underestimate the effects,” Shchyhol said.